Mending the ‘holey socks’ of our souls Print
Everyday Faith
Thursday, Apr. 06, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

Everyday Faith column by Julianne Nornberg

"M-o-o-o-m! There's a hole in my sock!"

It was Sunday morning, 20 minutes before Mass, and our household was a-flutter with our four children scurrying about donning church clothes, brushing teeth, and fixing hair.

My eight-year-old son was in his room, half-dressed, with a sock on one foot and disdainfully holding up the matching holey one. "I can't wear this holey sock to church!" he cried.

Glancing at the time, I was about to tell him to put it on anyway and that no one would notice, when suddenly my husband swooped in with precisely the right tools needed for the job. "Then I'll show you how to fix it," Daddy said, calmly ignoring the fact that we needed to be at church in 18 minutes.

Patience is a virtue

As my husband worked with my son and I flew about the house helping the others get ready, I marveled at Daddy's endearing patience.

There was a life lesson he was silently teaching our son here -- that even amidst noise and chaos, we must take the time to mend something that is broken -- with patience. (And miraculously we even made it to Mass on time that day, with all socks intact.)

Similarly, Our Father in heaven asks us to strive for the virtue of patience while mending the imperfections -- or holey socks -- of our souls, especially during these last days of Lent.

In the noise and chaos of our lives, it is easy to ignore our vices, to push them off as "just the way we are," to try to cover them up or shrug them off as unimportant, something we will get to later.

Turning to the Lord

Often, I begin Lent with high aspirations, only to find myself half-heartedly limping along spiritually by Easter because I have lost patience with or given up on my Lenten goals. Yet, how patiently Our Father waits for me to turn to Him!

"The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made" (Psalm 145:8-9).

As the days of penance dwindle and we enter into Our Lord's Passion and death, will I be able to truly celebrate the revival of my own spiritual life along with the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord? Have I worked on getting closer to Jesus by spending time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament?

Have I put time and effort into fasting, prayer, and almsgiving and teaching my children to do the same? Have I worked on an area of my life that requires grace and effort?

'Holey socks' of life

For me, it is having patience amid stress. For someone else it may be striving for courage or self-control.

These are the holey socks of our souls, the areas that need mending even amidst the noise and chaos of our lives.

With Our Father's help, each day we can work on mending them, little by little. And if we fail, we can start anew each day.

"Renew your decision each morning, with a very determined Serviam ('I will serve you, Lord')!

"Renew your resolution not to give in, not to give way to laziness or idleness; to face up to your duties with greater hope and more optimism, convinced that if we are defeated in some small skirmish we can overcome this setback by making a sincere act of love" (St. Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, p. 347).

Remember, as someone once said, "Do not expect perfection, but be happy with the progress." Let's keep working at it and not become complacent or give up.

For the joy of Easter is approaching and we want to be able to truly celebrate not only Our Lord's glorious triumph over death, but also -- with the grace of God -- our own small progress at mending the imperfections of our souls.

Julianne Nornberg, mother of four young children, is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish, Waunakee.