"Holiness consists simply in doing God's will, and being just what God wants us to be."
—Saint Therese of Lisieux
This is something I have pondered often, because motherhood—as any mother would attest—is far from glamorous. Every single day I wash little hands that will be sticky again in just a few minutes. Every single day I wash dishes that I will wash again the next day. I feel like I'm constantly picking up kleenex and toys and the books my baby pulled off the shelf again. Even my career, which I pursued as an avenue of ministry, is often little more than fixing code that shouldn't be broken in the first place, or sorting out my cluttered inbox. From a secular point of view, much of what I do would seem rather pointless, and from a Catholic point of view, hardly worth painting a cathedral ceiling about.
But despite the apparent drudgery, I have discovered a deep peace in doing the duty of the moment. I listen quietly for what my sister and I have dubbed the heartbeat of the soul, the simple throb of love which calls me to live within God's will one moment at a time. For this awareness I can thank my parents, who showed me that incredible grace can be found in doing the dishes or folding laundry. As the oldest of eight, I had plenty of opportunities to practice.
And so, with every heartbeat I am given the opportunity to come back again, to choose God's will again, and to drink from the fount of mercy available to me for the (many) moments when I utterly failed. Perhaps some heartbeats will call me to step outside of my every day monotony and do something world-changing... And perhaps the most heroic thing I will ever do will be to get up for the fiftieth time that night to soothe a frightened toddler. In that I will find holiness, if that is what God wants me to be.