Domestic Life and Work

“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” – St. Thomas More / Berceuse (Le Coucher) (1873) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

The above quote is attributed to the Catholic saint, Thomas More (b. 1477- d. 1535). It is a nod to the extraordinary nature of ordinary life.  I have heard priests speak of the importance of completing the “duties of one’s state of life.”  These duties often include seemingly endless amounts of domestic chores. At some point, a mother might think it is a waste of time to clean up the family room for the proverbial umpteenth time. After working all day, a father might wish to sit and hide behind his smart phone rather than play with his children. Parenting is tiresome work, but it is clear that such work is part of the duties of the state of life of parents.

It is not only the stage of life which involves parenting where such repetitious domestic activities are found. They are present in all of life, in all of its stages: there is always a kitchen to clean, laundry to sort, a bed to be made, a floor to sweep.  So, rather than viewing these duties as drudgeries to be endured, a Catholic view of them is in order; let us view these duties as St. Thomas More suggests (above).

Let us take another look at the ordinary acts we practice in the home, remembering that they are more important to the soul than their simplicity suggests (More, paraphrased).

Let us have the view of life, of our duties, that God has; and live an extraordinary ordinary life which simply means a Catholic life.

I hope you are all well as we move into Lent.


~Lenten video/instruction on the meaning of suffering in the life of a Catholic: link.