The Blessed Mother’s Parenting Style: Angelic Sweetness

Photo by andy castro

I have a spiritual accountability partner (henceforth referred to as SAP). Like many souls, my drive and motivation tend to fluctuate and I can’t tell you how this girl helps keep my heart above water. We check up on each other every few weeks and though our discussion frequently strays from the spiritual to the domestic, I’m always inspired at the close of our conversations. We been holding each other accountable for just over a year now, and it’s certain that God is working through her to move my soul. The other day we were talking about disciplining young toddlers and she mentioned maintaining “the angelic sweetness of Mary” toward both her little ones and husband. Since our conversation, this phrase has been playing non-stop like a song in my head. I’ve read that angelic sweetness stems from a prayer life that is constant – a life that is centered on God. What’s particularly wonderful to me personally is that my confessor recently advised me to always stay in touch with God; to bring Him everything – EVERYTHING. I’m amazed at how God is persistently sending me this message through my SAP and confessor mentioning at the same time. I want to bring God all matters great and simple because I know that without Him, I’m nothing but bad habits on two legs.

My little ones are sick and my infant is especially crabby these days. Though in the midst of his incessant crying I know that he’s suffering and I try to console him, the wailing in my ear is enough to make me lose my mind when all I want to do is get more sleep. While he’s crying, my toddler begs for breakfast right when the phone rings. I can’t tell you how often this situation hits our house – nearly every morning – and it’s the type of thing I want to have the presence of mind to bring to Christ; asking Him to help me calm my infant with tenderness and serve my toddler sweetly. The whirlwind provides a challenge, albeit insignificant, but knowing that Christ is present in my endeavors strengthens my will profoundly. In bringing Him everything that’s on my heart – each stress and joy – my soul will certainly obtain peace and angelic sweetness. I have long had the desire to be sweet, but could never put my finger on how to go about it. Habitual and ritual occasions of prayer help develop the virtue of constant prayer: it should be breath, always flowing in and out of my soul, receiving the love of God and offering it back to Him in addition to the morning offering, blessing before meals, and Sunday Mass.

The more crucial aspect of “the angelic sweetness of Mary” is the Blessed Mother. Consider how sweet she is – the Queen of even God’s heart. I was thinking the other day about how earth-shattering it would be to have Christ physically present in your family at all times as she and St. Joseph did. Consider the quality of marriage they had – and that’s what I want. To a certain degree, I’m limited because I wasn’t born without sin like Mary; but if I allow God’s grace in my soul and breathe prayer in and out, I can bring so much more to the table than what I do now. With just one person moving toward a life of prayer and virtue, things change for every surrounding life. My husband is already a “man after God’s own heart” and inspires me because he actively pursues to be even more so; and my sons set a great example because they haven’t even sinned yet, so I have to catch up! The truth is that developing angelic sweetness is a feat in itself, but when I do remember to offer Christ the little on-goings of my mind and heart, there is nothing more comforting or empowering than His presence in every nook and cranny of my life. With persistence and the grace of God, this extraordinary virtue can become ordinary for my soul.

1 Comment

  1. As a mom of 8 almost-grown children, I certainly wish I had been more angelic in raising them! I have many times come across things that refer to Mary doing wonderful things, “just like a mother would do” and I would think, gosh, I am not like that at all! I have needed concrete examples of how Mary would have behaved. “Angelic sweetness”, that calm and kind attitude, is a great start. It may sound strange, but I think Michelle Duggar has great concrete advice, too. I couldn’t find one quote I really liked from her but this one is similar to it: “Remember anger outbursts from parents will push our children away and undermine the very right character that we are trying to teach them…we have been able to encourage each other to speak kindly to one another even when we feel angry. Not just Daddy and Momma, but all of us now hold each other accountable. It makes for a much more peaceful, happy home.” I love that! These are good, too: 1. Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well. 2. Always display kind actions, even if you have been mistreated. 3. Show joyful attitudes even when no one is looking.” I think we will focus on these exact things this coming Lent, and will ask the Blessed Mother to help us!

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