I hope you enjoyed last week’s Screwtape Letter for a Homeschool Mom #2. Screwtape is a nasty one, isn’t he? You’ll be glad to know that Bitterwench never did get the letter because, just like last time, Martha’s vigilant Guardian Angel intercepted it. Here is Archangel Gabriel’s advice to Angel Fairlight:
All praise, glory, and honor to Our Heavenly Father!
So you have intercepted Screwtape’s letter to Bitterwench once again. Well done! Your diligent care for Martha’s soul pleases Our Lord immensely, for He loves the little mother most tenderly. Indeed, your most important task is to make Martha aware of Our Heavenly Father’s deep and abiding love for her. His love for her is beyond anything she can imagine – deeper than the oceans, vaster than the universe, yet intimate and personal. These poor mortals! How can they comprehend the love of God with their fallen intellect? Even though Christ suffered and died on the cross for their redemption, still they doubt His infinite love and mercy.
And dear Martha, although devout, is not much different. Her weaknesses and imperfections loom before her. She is haunted by the thought that she is not enough and does not do enough. Heroically she burns herself out in the care and education of her children, but she does not rest in The Lord. Instead, she worries and frets, loses patience with her children, and forgets to pray. And when difficulties and sufferings come her way, she loses faith in God’s unfailing love.
If Martha only knew how Our Lord loves her! How he looks upon her with joy and affection! You see how tenderly Martha loves her infant son. He is the apple of her eye. Even if her baby has a dirty face, that dirt does nothing to diminish Martha’s love for her child. Rather, she wipes the baby’s face clean and smothers it with kisses. Yet Martha’s love for her son is nothing compared to God’s love for her and for each of her precious children. Martha’s shortcomings do nothing to diminish His love for her. Yes, He will help her overcome her imperfections. He will cleanse and purify her soul. But all the while, Our Lord will shower her with His grace and love.
Make His love known to her. Let Martha experience His enduring and unconditional love, especially through the Sacrament of Mercy, and you shall see how her love for Him will be enkindled and inflamed. One who experiences the Love of God cannot help but burn with ardor and devotion. She will find her faith renewed, her heart will be at rest, and her soul will sing for joy because He loves her and she loves Him.
Bring to Martha’s mind, these words of Our Lord: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:28) Let her see how patient Our Lord is with her, how gentle and humble. No matter how many times she falls into sin, He is always ready to forgive. With love and understanding He looks at the frailty of her human condition and treats her with the gentleness of mercy.
Encourage her to see Christ, gentle and humble in heart, as her model. Then help Martha resolve not to judge or criticize others, especially her children. Rather, as she is led by Love, so too she must lead with love. Of course she must correct her children when they err, and sometimes with firmness. But encourage her to do so with patience and charity, with gentleness, and with the humility of knowing how infinitely patient Our Lord is with her.
Finally, remind Martha always to have recourse to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, who is also the model of humility and gentleness. The mere mention of the Holy Name of Mary will send Bitterwench and her cohorts scrambling with terror, for Our Queen’s perfect humility is like a brilliant, blinding light against the darkness of their pride. The wiles and ploys of Bitterwench will come to naught if Martha and her family are under the protection of Our Blessed Mother. Indeed, Our Lord may even use their temptations for the good of Martha’s family and His greater glory.
In the joy and love of Christ Our King,