We currently have a four year old staying in our house. It only takes a little while to realize how long it has been since there has been someone that little in your life. This morning was her first morning with us so we got her up, fed her, helped her dress and off to Mass we went. My two daughters did most of it, but as I was sitting in church waiting for Mass to start, I was overwhelmed with the thought, "How did I ever do this with 7 little children?" I mean, really, how did I do this?
When my youngest was four, it meant my oldest was 17, but we had been going to daily Mass for many years by that point, so I had done it quite often with a gaggle of small kiddos.
Mass was pretty much always at 8:30, but for the bulk of the time that the kids were little, we lived 30 minutes away from a church. That meant we had to leave at 7:55 am. I thought and thought but I must have blocked the chaos from my mind because I couldn't remember what type of schedule we kept in order to accomplish this every day. And then in the winter, adding in snow boots and jackets, scarves and mittens. Don't get me started.
It was at that point that I heard one word in my mind: Grace. God's grace is what got me out of the house every day. Now, my attitude, and that of my children, is what determined what kind of ride it was to church! Don't get me wrong, there were tears from all of us on many days, but it was the grace of God that got us all out that door.
If you're struggling about how you could possibly get everyone to daily Mass, let me just say that you should never underestimate the power of God's grace. He will help you to get there and give you the stamina to do it again and again, even when it is ugly and you can't imagine what kind of good could possibly be coming out of all of this. Trust me, it's worth it in the long run. Rely, not on your own strength, but on the grace of God; both for you and for your kids.