Courtney Vallejo shares a prayerful reflection on the lyrics of a popular hymn.
I’ve heard the hymn “The Summons” sung at Mass over the years, and it usually leaves me with questions like “Where do you want me to follow you, Lord?” or “What mission do you have for me now?” The last time it was sung at Mass, however, it struck me differently.
I began to think about how God calls us to have a missionary attitude but instead of sending us overseas, sometimes He calls us to the mission field of our own homes. Will you follow me (no pun intended) as I delve into some of these lines through the lens of motherhood?
"Will you come and follow me, if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?"
How many of you are living the motherhood you imagined before being a mother? Personally, I never thought of or anticipated half of the things that would come my way in motherhood, but I also couldn’t fathom the love in which I could have for another person and the desire to protect and care for them.
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known?
God asks us if we will love our family. Will we teach our children about Him, and about His love for them? Will we take the time to remind ourselves that He loves us too? Will we be the first catechists of our children and thus let His name be known to them?
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Women have been given the distinct privilege of growing life in their wombs. It reminds me that when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, God asked permission to grow life in her and in our openness to life, in the same way, He asks us if he can grow life in us. I wasn’t ever able to conceive children—mine came home through adoption—but that doesn’t mean that life didn’t grow in me. A beautiful line roaming around social media reminds me that God grew their life in my heart. So growing life seems inherent to our womanhood, but God goes further, asking us to grow His life in our hearts as well. He asks us to allow His Sacred Heart to penetrate every morsel of our body and every facet of our lives.
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Our sacramental marriages begin by us dying to ourselves and our former way of life and coming together to become one. Motherhood can call us to give up many things, for some of us, that can be our previous jobs, hobbies and/or lifestyles, to be present and care for our children. How society tells us what a waste of time this will be and questions why we would want to lose ourselves. Sure, I’ve struggled with feeling drained, exhausted, unseen and unappreciated but then I realize that my children will only be with me, as children, for such a short amount of time. All too quickly, they’ll move on into their own vocations, not needing me as they do now.
Will you risk the hostile stare? Should your life attract or scare?
Living as a Catholic in the world is often met with opposition and oppression. Large families are often met with hostile stares and questions. Our pro-life rallies are often met with our angry opposition, protesting the lives we fight to defend. Each of us is met with opposition as we leave the safety of our homes and enter out into the world. A church in our town has a sign positioned by the exit of the parking lot, which states, “Now entering the missionary field.”
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Growing life seems inherent to our womanhood, but God goes further, asking us to grow His life in our hearts as well. #catholicmom
God has summoned us to this time in history, for a distinct purpose. May we have the grace to always ask God how He desires us to serve our family each day!
Copyright 2022 Courtney Vallejo
Quotes from “The Summons” by John L. Bell and Graham Maule, copyright © 1987 WGRG c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., agent. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
About the Author
Courtney Vallejo is a convert to the Catholic faith. She and her husband are homeschooling parents of three adopted children. She loves speaking at women's groups and Catholic conferences! Courtney is a Barton tutor for Dyslexic children. She writes for her own blog, CourtneyVallejo.com. She is also the co-founder of AMomRevolution.com and has a master's degree in Film Production.