Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our Lady of the Toothbrushes

This is the week of the year where we talk a lot about the saints of the Church.  The kids are trying to choose a saint to dress up as for All Saints' Day and this weekend's big celebration at the farm.  We're doing a lot of preparation these days, and not just for the holidays.  We have a house to prepare for new renters, our belongings to prepare for a new home, children to prepare for a move.  There are big decisions going on each day, and it's easy to lose focus and get caught up in the excitement.

At some point I inherited this sweet statue of Our Lady.  It has a container in the back, likely for a small bouquet or flower arrangement.  I'm not sure how it ended up in our master bathroom, but somehow it did.  And at some point, someone started putting toothbrushes in it!  I've hesitated about this; it seems somewhat sacrilegious to put toothbrushes, toothpaste, and even a razor in a Mary statue!  And I have to wonder what people think when they're touring our home and see this interesting juxtaposition.

But is it really a juxtaposition?  Don't we always remind ourselves that God is with us in the little things?  Like we are reminded by St. Therese (Mary Clare's saint of choice this year), we should be doing all the little things for God.  Even brushing our teeth!  And Mary, maybe more than any other saint, was someone who had a true juxtaposition in her life.  Being Mother to Our Lord, to God himself.  How she must have known that each little detail of her life was devoted to raising her Son in a Holy Family.  How they must have loved each other in the little things.  How prayer would have been central to every action she did as a mother.  I love this image of Mary hanging laundry with the baby Jesus at her feet.  A beautiful thing to ponder...

Whenever I'm tempted to move the toothbrushes to a more appropriate container, I end up convincing myself that they are just fine right there.  That having a reminder of Mary's example of quiet prayer and unity with God in her family life is something I can strive for as a mother.  I believe she was the perfect Mother, which is why God chose her for His Divine Son.  And though I am very, very far from perfect, I can emulate her actions and ask her to pray for me to be a good mother.  Even when I'm brushing my teeth.


Melissa D. said...

to that I say, "amen." I think this is a perfect post . . . easy to think "toothbrushes" don't belong in this little statue, but I completely agree with your thoughts and reasoning.

Rich said...

Cleanliness is next to godliness in this photo.

I often wonder, after the general judgement, when our souls are reunited with our bodies, will all the crowns, veneers, dentures, and fillings I delivered to my dental patients stick around with them for eternity.

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