This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cleaning Out the House: A Sing Along

by Kathleen Blease

When housework becomes drudgery, when single socks pile up on the ironing board, and when dirty countertops, floors, and toilets beckon me just once too often, I have a trick. I sing to Mary. That's right, I sing to the Blessed Mother.

My little ditty goes like this:

Mother Mary, Mother Mary,
Make me thankful for these ______. (Fill in the blank. Let's say "floors.")

Mother Mary, Mother Mary,
Make me thankful for these floors.
Mother Mary, Mother Mary,
Make me thankful for these floors.

When our boys were little, I would sing it loud and strong. They'd peer around the corner and say, "Oh, boy. Mom's cleaning again." They were fearful that I was heading toward their rooms.

Mother Mary, Mother Mary,
Make me thankful for these clothes...that I'm picking my son's floor... again...but never mind!
Mother Mary, Mother Mary,
Make me thankful for these clothes.

Well, yes, housework still irked me a bit. But I could picture Mary doing the same chores for her little family. I could connect.

Several years ago, I attended a Catholic mother's group. I was so eager to learn about this new term I came across--the Domestic Church. I wanted to find out just how to make our home our own little place of worship, along with building my own domestic vocation. Fill me in! Sigh. The ladies wanted to talk about more common things. How to save money by cutting napkins in half and how select-a-size paper towels ranked among the greatest inventions of our civilized hemisphere. Somehow, these things always rolled into the scripture sharing. But I wanted more! Come on, gals, let's get down to it!

I proclaimed my new discovery. Singing to Mother Mary. One mom said that if she sang to Mary in her home, her children would have her commited. Another made her opinion quite clear by rolling her eyes and saying, "Yeah, right!" There was a general air of "Oh brother!" in the room.

I guess I couldn't blame them. But I shared two more thoughts before I dropped it, and I do believe I saw a few eyebrows going up in agreement. First, if I'm grateful for something--having bathrooms, a fridge, dishwasher, floors, ceilings, a roof, electricity, cats, cat food, cat litter (am I going too far?)--then I can't be angry about taking care of them. It all comes down to an attitude of gratitude. And second, if I can't be Catholic in my own home, just where can I be Catholic openly and abundantly? Aren't moms the moral gate keepers of the Faith?

Mother Mary helped me to see all our "necessities" as gifts, not just instigators of chores. Messy gifts, though, but it's better to have them than to go without.

Today, I don't sing this song as boisterously as I used to. It's become something of a little hymn I humm under my breath, but it's there for me just the same. I can see Mother Mary scrubbing the floors, wiping her wet dishpan hands on her apron, and cleaning out the wood-burning stove. My kinda woman.

I once mentioned this concept and my little verse in song to Catholic novelist Michelle Buckman. We had just met. What would possess me to tell her this about myself? But Michelle smiled with an honest and sensitive acknowledgement. "Yes, that's very much like St. Therese and her little ways, to be grateful for everyday things."

I'll take that! So, loud and clear everyone...

Mother Mary, Mother Mary
Make me thankful for these _______________.

Fill in the blank.

God bless!


  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I just finished a solid week of spring cleaning. I spoke to Mary often while cleaning, but never thought of singing. I will be using this idea!

  2. I love this. It's just what I needed to hear today, thank you for sharing your little song, and never mind the "yeah , right"s , I think it is a brilliant idea.


You are warmly welcome to share your thoughts. Please do so, and feel free to share your links! If you are enjoying this post, won't you please consider linking it to your blog, twitter, or Facebook page? Let's help spread the good news of our Catholic Faith, but please remember that these items are copyrighted to Kathleen Blease. Thanks for sharing!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...