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Today marks the fourth anniversary of one of the most profound encounters with mercy in my life.

On November 20, 2016, as the Year of Mercy drew to a close, I made a poignant visit to the Divine Mercy church in New Orleans with my five children, ranging from 13 years old to 9 months. We arrived at 3 pm, walking through the Doors of Mercy for the final time.

Stepping into that sacred space, an extraordinary event unfolded within my soul.

As tangibly as feeling my child’s hand in mine, I sensed the touch of God on my heart. In that moment, He imprinted words that would forever alter my perspective.

He whispered a profound truth: if I wished to extend His mercy to others, I must first show mercy to myself. Without loving myself as He asks in His greatest commandments, I couldn’t authentically love Him or others.

For fifteen years of marriage and family life, I had mistakenly believed that giving all of myself to my family would suffice, that I would somehow have enough for myself afterward.

But there was never enough. When the time came to care for myself, I was drained—there was nothing left to offer.

I had unwittingly assumed the role of a self-made martyr, erroneously equating it with holiness. Yet, I was mistaken.

There was no sanctity in neglecting God’s greatest gift—my own life.

There was no holiness in running on empty, attempting to embody God’s merciful love while failing to love myself, one of His creations.

God cradled my heart in His hands, marking it with a tender kiss of merciful love, teaching me the essence of genuine love and sacrifice.

My journey hasn’t been a seamless one; it’s had its share of peaks and valleys. Recognizing that embracing holiness meant intertwining my well-being within it became a crucial realization.

When I initially responded with a ‘Yes’ to this calling, I never envisaged being where I am today.

I hadn’t anticipated that this ‘Yes’ would lead not only to shedding weight but also to discovering a profound self-love.

Through the lens of His boundless mercy, I uncovered an affection not just for myself but also for the Father who, out of His infinite love, fashioned me to live joyfully, radiate confidence, and stand tall as a cherished daughter of a King.

My fervor for sharing this message of mercy burns within me.This message resounds: amidst the whirlwind of motherhood, you can indeed cultivate wellness.

I hope this post brings blessings your way and helps you recognize the incredible beauty and uniqueness within you.

You are crafted for a remarkable life, one brimming with wellness in body, mind, and soul, ultimately leaving a distinctive imprint of holiness upon your journey.

Maria Cecilia