Life is sacred in its creation.
It’s sacred from the moment it springs into existence. The very moment a human sperm fertilizes a human egg, and God blesses it with the gift of a soul.
Life is sacred in its vulnerability. It’s sacred while at the mercy of its mother for 9 months in the womb. It’s sacred in the helplessness of old age. And in the beautiful needs of illness and disability.
Life is sacred when it needs protection.
The least of these stir up our love and compassion. They exude unspoken pleas for protection. We fight for their rights.
But our fight doesn’t end there.
Life is also sacred in its living.
An Inspiring Mass
I was listening to a homily while visiting at a Mass for a community of religious sisters. As the priest wrapped up his advice for them in their life of prayer and serving the Lord, he encouraged them to cherish the times when they get to interact with and minister in “sacred encounters with families.”
That stopped me in my tracks.
Those beautiful sisters encounter Jesus all day every day in their life of prayer. They get to stop in their chapel and say hello to Him whenever they want. They devoted their whole selves to serving Him. Their vocations are nothing if not sacred.
But apart from all their beautiful, intimate encounters with Christ, this priest called out their encounters with families as sacred.
When a sister smiles at me as I shush my kids in church, the encounter is sacred. When Father welcomes our energetic posse as visitors in his chapel, the encounter is sacred. When people in the world see us making our painfully slow way through the grocery store, the encounter is sacred.
We’re not perfect. We’re not holy, but we’re trying. We’re by no means as advanced in prayer life and devotion as those who give their lives to God in religious vocations.
But still… their encounters with our family are sacred.
A Blessed Confession
A few days after that Mass, I was in confession with a priest whom I didn’t think even listened as I listed my sins. I often notice him scrolling on his phone as I pour out my heart through the mesh screen. He generally gives me a standard penance and absolution with little or no conversation.
But this day was different. He put his phone down and paused to give me some spiritual direction.
He told me my vocation is a gift to the world. He told me the work I do in my family is beautiful and greatly needed. He stressed the importance of making sure my husband knows he’s loved. The importance of embracing my call to minister to the needs of my kids.
My confessor touched my heart with the emphasis he placed on the ongoing importance of my vocation. With the way he saw every little task as packed with meaning and significance.
And, dare I say, sacredness.
A Divine Message
I know God was speaking to me through these two priests. I know that this message of the sacredness of family life was meant for me. I know that He wants me to understand that holiness can be found in the small moments of my life.
How can I embrace the sacredness of life – not just at conception and natural death. Not just in the poor, the downtrodden, ill, or disabled.
How can I celebrate the sacredness of life in its living?
The Power of Relationship
Our family exists because of relationship. Because of the love between my husband and me. Our love is a reflection of God’s love. He lives in relationship: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united in perfect love in one Divine Nature. Inseparable.
Our marriage is a perpetual witness to this mystery. Our human love is a sign of God’s perfect love.
Our love itself is sacred.
It’s sacred when we join together in the marital embrace. That’s the peak of its holy expression.
But it’s also sacred in its daily expressions. When I pack my husband’s lunch. When he calls me on his way home from work. When we sit across the dinner table from each other. When we tagteam putting the kids to bed.
Our relationship is a constant reminder of God’s love in the Trinity.
And like the ever-fruitful love of the Trinity, our love comes to life in our children. Our relationship with them is another sacred expression of God. Of His great power of creation.
The daily task of keeping our kids alive – feeding and dressing and caring for them – reflects God’s providence in sustaining us in existence. The way my husband and I share our love outside of ourselves is a witness to God’s infinite, generous, unconditional love.
Every interaction within our family is a sacred sign of God’s love.
A Call to Witness
Every time someone comes in contact with our family, they encounter a living reflection of God. They have the potential to enter into the mystery of His love.
It’s our call to be true witnesses to God’s love. To help others see the beauty of every moment lived in this divinely inspired relationship.
We can witness to God’s presence in our family through every interaction.
We can show the world the face of God’s love. So when they look at us, they see Him. And they walk away with a truer understanding of what’s good and beautiful.
We are witnesses when we live every moment with peace and love. When we do our best to say yes to God’s call in every task that our vocation calls us to.
We don’t need to do great things to show the world God’s love. All we need to do is live the life God gave us. The life of service to our spouse and kids. The life of sweeping floors and paying bills and wiping noses and saying “I love you” with every word and deed. The life of a family.
Life is sacred in its living.
Let’s start living life like we know it’s sacred.
Let Us Pray
Dear Jesus, You’ve given me a great call in life. A call to show the world Your love. Your life.
Please help me to be the witness You desire me to be. Help me to live in relationship with my family with great love.
When the world looks at us, may they see You. And may they walk away changed by this sacred encounter with Your love within us.
A Free Printable For You!
I couldn’t stop thinking about the message that “Life is Sacred in its Living.” So while my kids and I had some relaxing art time this weekend, I whipped up this printable for you. I hope you love it, and that it reminds you of the sacredness of all the things you do in your vocation.
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