This is called the “Invisible Mother.” I have no idea who wrote it. But I think it has a powerful message, especially for Mother’s Day.

          It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?  Obviously  not. No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner. I’m invisible.

          Some days I’m only a pair of hands. Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I’m a clock to ask: “What time is it?” Or I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

          One night a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had a fabulous trip, and she told us all the details. I was feeling pretty pathetic when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of  Europe. She hand an inscription inside the front cover: “To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

          No one can say who built the great cathedrals. We have no record of their names. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

          A legendary story in the book told of a rich man, who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built. He noticed a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of the beam. He asked the craftsman: “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof. No one will ever see it. The workman replied: “Because God sees it.”

          I closed the book, and it was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done. No sequin you’ve sewn on. No cupcake you’ve baked is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

  Thank you, Ladies, for the great cathedrals you are building right here in St. Francis Parish. 

  Fr. Joe Carlos         

St. Francis of Assisi Church
Teutopolis, Illinois (217) 857-6404