On a walk the other day, I asked Mabel to describe what sheltering at home has been like for her with a metaphor or simile. At first she said, “MOOOOOOM, quit being a priest.” Then after some time she piped up, “It’s like I used to be able to go where I wanted and now I am like a dog on a leash.” You said it Mabel, we all feel cooped up, corralled, and confined.
As parents we have great power for our children. We can support the integration of their experiences of being cooped up into resources for a more resilient spirit.
Jesus did this for the disciples. He taught them the path to inner freedom, even amid the confines of life challenges. The peace of God is not in times without challenge, but finding God with the challenge. In this way the beatitudes are not positive clichés -- they are powerful truths. Each beatitude reveals the spiritual gift that we can discover through paying attention to our challenges.
In households with kids, emotions surface when our kids are challenged. Emotions gum up the day and can ruin the ease of home life. So we often trivialize our children’s challenges, simply to keep things going well. If we want to be a more spiritual parent, then we want to model and guide our kids toward a relationship with God especially when we are going through difficulties.
The gifts of God are discovered in slowing down, reflection, space, quiet, and open, undefended conversation. Jesus invites us on the spiritual path through life giving dignity and respect to our experiences as they are and so find the path to new life within them.
Blessed are those who are confined by sheltering in place, they will find… You fill in the blank.
With you on the journey,