“Mom, I’m hungry!”
“Mom, what time are we eating?”
“Mom, can I have this for a snack?”
“Mom, what are we having for supper?”
“Moooooom, I’m STARVING!”
All day long these food statements come out of my kids mouths. It’s almost like our day is measured by one eating session to another. But now that I think of it, it is what our day is centered around. We have a big breakfast first thing in the morning, then an early light lunch to avoid having a mid-morning snack. Then a big afternoon snack, followed by supper, which is our biggest meal of the day, then the small bed-time snack. There is a lot of life that happens between them, but those are the corner posts of our day. Allow me to add one more thing, besides perpetually cleaning the kitchen and cooking, I have a brand-new nursing baby to add to the mix, who doesn’t stop eating for the day by 8pm like the other kids. That means that I am feeding someone every few hours around the clock, all day, every day.
I don’t say this to complain, because it is just the way my life is, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. But it is something interesting to ponder. Feeding the Hungry is the very first Corporal Work of Mercy. When we mom’s do an examination of conscious, we often feel guilty that we didn’t spend time volunteering at the soup kitchen, or donating more food to the local food shelf. STOP FEELING GUILTY! We are single-handedly keeping these little humans alive, as they literally couldn’t survive a day without us!
If I am being completely honest, there are times when I would much rather get a babysitter and go volunteer at a soup kitchen, than first come up with what to make for supper (a monster mental task to begin with!) then actually take the time to prepare a meal, then clean up the huge mess I made. Perhaps my path to sanctity begins in my kitchen.
That being said, my oldest son is now 11, and I would love to teach them how to love others through food, by fulfilling this corporal work of mercy. Besides the obvious ones like the soup kitchen and food shelf, I can teach the older kids in unique ways that are more suitable to our busy state in life. They can help me to prepare a meal to bring to a family going through a hard time, or transitioning to life with a new baby. We can ask our local parish if there is a family that is struggling to make ends meet, and we can either buy them some groceries during our normal grocery run, or give them some money to buy their own. We can invite a neighbor, who may be hungry for conversation, over for supper to fill their bellies as well as their hearts. We can abstain from meat, and use the money saved from not buying meat to give to a hunger-fighting charity.
Ultimately, if you are a mom to a young family, please take care of your family first. But if you are rocking it, and feel up to taking on more, pray to the Holy Spirit. He knows how you can best feed those around you, so that when you get to judgement day, Jesus will remember the thousands of times you fed the hungry.
Until next time my dear sisters in Christ-