One trick of Catholic practice to conquer your least favorite chore
Because the weather is more like a convection oven these days, and not wanting to feel roasted like St. Lawrence when doing the yard work today, I got all that done early this morning. I had surprised myself though when I noticed I was excited not because I was done with that chore, but rather because I could go make my bed.
I had not really paid attention before, but I know years ago, as a bachelor, this chore never seemed to make sense. Yet, as children, we were all told by our Mothers to make our bed before we leave the house. See, as a child you have an enforcer in your parents to motivate you to do such things.
Like a scene from Cool Hand Luke, I can remember being told to make the bed or something I like might not be available, and then, under threat of missing out on something good, I would finally go to do it, probably mumbling “making my bed, boss. making my bed…” Nevertheless, as an adult, making my bed just seemed like one of those chores that could be prioritized at the bottom of the list somewhere down there with that one task that keeps getting moved to later dates.
What strange sort of hypnotism caused me to actually look forward to doing this chore? Something has drastically changed, and I actually like this dreaded occupation now!
I’ll tell you, but you have to promise you’ll try this. I don’t even remember from where the idea came.
At some point years ago, though, I resolved that I’d take my least favorite thing to do and use it as an opportunity to pray for the poor souls. For me, that chore was making my bed.
It was really simple. I just decided that I wanted to remember to pray for the poor souls each day. I also wanted to pray to the Blessed Mother. So, I tied to two things together: I’ll pray a Hail Mary and an Eternal Rest for the poor souls while I make my bed. I actually enjoyed it the first day. Instead of thinking about the dread of the chore, I was happy to think that I not only prayed for them, but prayed with Our Blessed Mother, and managed to offer something up for them all in one moment.
I kept up with it because I was happy that even at the end of days, when taking account of the day, I always had that in my daily bucket… I could rest assured, and talk with my guardian angel: “…at least I prayed for the poor souls and made my bed today.”
I really didn’t appreciate just how powerful a recipe for success this was, nor did I ever consider when starting to do this that years, or even decades down the road that making my bed would become something I look forward to…
BONUS: Make your Mother Happy
Think about it though. What Mother wouldn’t be happy with their child to do that!? Our Blessed Mother has to like that… She, like any Mother, would be proud of her child of whom she could say, “everyday he makes his bed, talks to me, and prays for the poor souls.”
Now, looking back on it all, I haven’t made my bed every day, but maybe miss a few days a year. I guess that’s OK, because in the hindsight, I see this giant pile of days where I was not only helping poor souls, but also conquering my least favorite chore. So awesome! Just my happiness accumulating over helping the Blessed Mother rescue poor souls from purgatory has changed my outlook. It transformed something I didn’t like into something I love and look forward to.
I wonder what sort of chores other people face that could benefit from this sort of transformation.
Do you have a chore like this?
I wonder if I’m late to the game. Did you already know about this?
Tell me in the comments if everyone else already knew this. I am still surprised.
This article, One trick of Catholic practice to conquer your least favorite chore is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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