Who could imagine being angry with a face like that? I never dreamed I would ever be capable of losing my temper with this angelic little puddle of sweetness. I never imagined that I would struggle with periods of intense disappointment and frustration in the discipline of my home. When the children are tiny, we discipline to keep them from bodily harm and from injuring others. The parameters are rather basic. As they grow, more complicated facets of free will begin to appear and parenting becomes a good deal more challenging. I confess that my emotions do occasionally get the upper hand. It is an ongoing struggle to learn to learn how to treat my children with respect, charity and mercy at all times. The love of a parent requires a willingness to have the heart alternately rent and bruised, filled to overflowing, stretched, changed and sometimes crushed; with the hope that this love will somehow follow the calvary of Christ to a most glorious Easter.
I was recently directed by a confessor to a beautiful prayer written by St. Maria Faustina
in her diary
asking for the grace to be merciful to others. I am so grateful for that direction and have found it perfect for morning and family prayer. The older children have copies of their own.
For the Grace to be Merciful to Others O most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.
I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors' souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors' needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
You Yourself commanded me to exercise the three degrees of mercy. The first: the act of mercy, of whatever kind. The second: the word of mercy - if I cannot carry out a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. The third: prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically.
O my Jesus, transform me into Yourself, for You can do all things (163).