SummaryAmanda Evinger, homeschooling mother and author, talks about the Divine Mercy of Jesus, and how parents can benefit by reflecting on it this Easter Season.
“Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of Christ Risen.” — St. (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta
A wise priest who has given spiritual guidance to many homeschooling families once told me it’s very typical for homeschooling parents to be doing an excellent job at educating their children, and yet, they never feel like it’s good enough.
I must say, after five years of homeschooling and spending time with other homeschooling families, I’ve noticed the same thing. Somehow, us homeschooling parents have a real knack for talking ourselves into bits of sheer nonsense.
We’ll tell ourselves that of course our son would be receiving a far better education in a gleaming classroom, packed with the snazziest learning gadgets (ones we didn’t even know existed!) and a teacher endowed with infinite amounts of patience.
Not forgetting the ability to bi-locate, thereby providing one-on-one attention to each of the 23 children needing it all at once — instead of cuddling on the sofa to read for hours on end with their frumpy, loving mother.
We’ll convince ourselves our kids would receive a much better formation in the arts if they would make candy and graham cracker houses at school instead of scrounging up scraps of paper, wood and cloth from around our home to prayerfully create a little creche in time for Christmas.
Why are we so impatient with our faults, expecting ourselves to glide through each homeschooling day as chipper as can be, filled with unfailing faith and wisdom? The list goes on and on. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we just way too talented at being hard on ourselves?
Why do we question ourselves for following the plan we know, deep in our hearts, through much prayer and discernment, that God has chosen for our families? Why do we let people’s negative comments about our homeschooling beat us down? God has given each one of us so much courage and abundant talents.
If we are trying to homeschool, we are likely using them well, and we should know how pleased He is with us. We should be our own best cheerleaders, through thick and thin! The seeds we are laboriously planting in our children’s hearts, minds and souls will bloom bountifully — we must believe that.
As these thoughts come to my mind, I look forward to praying the Divine Mercy Novena, which begins on Good Friday and culminates on Divine Mercy Sunday. (To download a copy of the novena, visit www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/novena.htm, or for a fantastic overview of the devotion, read Divine Mercy Explained by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC).
According to the revelations of St. Faustina, Jesus says to us:
“‘My child, life on earth is a struggle indeed; a great struggle for my kingdom. But fear not, because you are not alone. I am always supporting you, so lean on Me as you struggle, fearing nothing. Take the vessel of trust and draw from the fountain of life – for yourself, but also for other souls, especially such as are distrustful of My goodness,’” (Diary of St. Faustina, No. 1488).
Truly, we are not alone on the homeschooling journey. We are in the best of company — that of God, the Saints, and our fellow homeschooling families in Christ. And of course, God’s mercy is always there to lift us up, console us, forgive us and heal us.
None of us is — or ever will be — the perfect homeschooling parent, and none of us has — or ever will have — the perfect homeschool environment, or the perfect kids (oh, wouldn’t that be a glorious day!). However, we must take comfort in the fact that despite our sins and failures, God’s mercy is our continual refuge and strength.
As the mystical visions of St. Faustina remind us,
“All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us. Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest.” (Diary, No. 1507)
As we prepare to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, let us remember that mercy is just what us homeschooling parents need. If we surrender all our insecurities, doubts, fears, sins and misgivings to Christ, He will take care of everything. He will give us the peace we need to carry on, giving our impressionable children a fabulous Catholic education, and a foundation of truth and security they can lean on for the rest of their lives.
Divine Mercy of Jesus, we do trust in You!