Lent with St Edith Stein Day 5: Balancing Family and Professional Life

Lent with St Edith Stein Day 5: Balancing Family and Professional Life

               It’s hard to believe this was written a century ago. Finding “work/life balance” certainly hasn’t gotten any easier. We try to be everything to everyone and can’t find fulfillment anywhere. The thought of adding just one more task to our daily list is completely overwhelming.

St Edith suggested that too many women try to be “just like a man” in their careers. Even in the convent, she saw nuns who struggled to work while keeping up with the duties of their Orders. Constantly suppressing our feminine natures for the sake of productivity drives us into burnout. Where can we find the strength to keep going at such a breakneck pace?

We need rest, but we need authentic rest. Netflix binges and TickTok marathons do nothing to recharge our souls. Yet we make time for these things, hoping that they will give us a chance to recharge and at the same time know that they never really do.

The answer is in the sacraments. We must spend time with Jesus in daily relationship, not only giving Him our cares and woes, but giving him our hands and feet as well. This is how we nourish and refresh our souls each day. We have to empty ourselves out so that He can fill us up with His strength. Daily, we must let go of our own wishes and desires and surrender ourselves to God. Then we will be open to receive Him.

St Edith wrote, “When we entrust all the troubles of our earthly existence confidentially to the divine heart, we are relieved of them. Then our soul is free to participate in the divine life.” We must form our lives in the context of eternity. By doing so, we release ourselves from the weight of our earthly desires. We have a much clearer perspective on what is important when we walk with Jesus and surrender ourselves as a handmaid.

The life of an authentic Catholic woman is liturgical and is not meant to be undertaken alone. We should make every effort to pray with the Church and bring liturgical observances to life in our homes. We can do this through Daily Mass Readings and observance of the feast days of saints, even it’s it’s just a short reflection on their lives from a website or a book. This gives us structure and purpose, but also gives us a taste of the eternal in our day-to-day lives.


Questions for further reflection:

What can I give up, not only during Lent but always, so that I have room to rest in prayer with God?

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