Domestic Church: Finding Treasure in Monotony

by Katie Sciba

If you have a family, you have monotony; there’s no way around it. Work, school, errands, activities – there is so much “same ol’” on repeat. Quite simply, all the repetition can be physically, or at least mentally, exhausting. Life in the domestic church demands time and energy to raise kids, work hard, make it through today so we can get ready for tomorrow. Work and sleep happen without much in between, and I tell you what, I have been really feeling this reality lately.

We have five small children, a small business, and a small house. The demands and routines our family have are necessary and integral to the life I’ve chosen; yet it’s so easy for me feel restless for the chance to do something fresh and new. Caught up in myself and my unfulfilled desires, conditions are ripe for ennui.

This isn’t exclusive to the life at home. I remember countless days of this feeling at the office; no matter how much I loved my job (and I did!), there were days when I would glance at the clock once and then again five minutes later, feeling like an eternity had passed between. In elementary school, I would gaze out the window, pining to break out of my desk to go have an adventure.

But in all circumstances, I’ve stayed.

On one of my hardest mornings, I waved goodbye to Andrew from the porch and, seeing a plane soar overhead, I cried because I wished so painfully that I were on it. I didn’t care where it was going, I ached for something, anything different.

Life is repetitious and stuck in the rut, we trudge through hoping for a thrill or some bit of excitement to whisk us away to a land where we’re not subject to obligation or bound by duties to vocation.

I’m diving into the Diary of St. Faustina and came upon this blessed passage that at once I knew applied to those of us who endure that love/hate relationship with the daily grind:

O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain! When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear. The grace which is given me in this hour will not be repeated in the next. It may be given me again, but it will not be the same grace. (St. Faustina, paragraph 62)

We fall into the habit of dealing with hardship without even mentioning it to Jesus, who above anyone else, has a ready ear. Praying a simple “Lord, I’m bored” can open our souls to peer through the monotony. When we seek God in our drudge, it’s no longer a drudge. He offers us countless graces to not just get through life but to fully experience it within our respective vocations. God has a plan for each particular soul for this very day; and if we respond to His offering of changing graces, dull will be the last word we’ll use to define our lives. The Life in Christ is never inwardly dull, though routine and monotony may remain, God is certainly not the author of boredom.

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