Like a Thief in the Night

They say, and I believe, that confession is good for the soul.  It is so good that, as Catholics, we include it as a sacrament, as one of the seven means by which we gather the strength to persevere in our earthly sojourn.  It is one of the aspects that reflect the fullness of our faith.  So, I'll confess then.  I'll say it out loud for all to hear… I haven't cleaned the tubs in my home in more than a month.

This is serious to me and I'm not making light of my ability to expose my offenses to my brothers and sisters.  Hear me out.  I've become lazy.  Or maybe I've just allowed other things to distract me.  Either way, I've not been giving my "all" to something that I should — the care of my home.

After twenty some years of marriage my husband and I have split a wide range of home-care duties between us.  When we both worked, we shared fairly equally on the home-front and that included raising three boys.  When he worked and I was home and the boys were little, it made sense for me to do more in the way of cleaning and cooking and keeping up with the boys' schedule.  When he lost his job and I worked, I never once came home to chores (he is an amazing husband).  Now, with our boys either at college or in high school, there are less demands on me as I now enjoy being home and my husband enjoys his career.  It is in this environment I have let my guard down. 

 And isn't this just what we are warned against in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4?  For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  When people are saying, "Peace and security," then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

This is EXACTLY what happened to me with my tubs.  My son's friend from California became an unexpected houseguest and I did not have a clean tub to offer for a shower.  I was embarrassed and found myself frantically cleaning one at 5 o'clock one morning.  How could I have let this happen? I asked myself as I quietly scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed again.  There was no excuse. 

But when Christ comes back, will we have that last chance, like I did, to do our own spiritual housecleaning?  No.  We have been forewarned to keep ourselves from falling into a spiritual malaise, from becoming lazy in our life as Christians.  We are called to be vigilant in living our faith.  We are reminded further along in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are both warned and yet reassured by the words of St. Paul.  Let us, then, be on guard and renew our call to diligence in our daily lives as followers of Jesus.

Cheryl Dickow


Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. Cheryl’s newest book is Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Womenwhich is co-authored with Teresa Tomeo and is published by Servant (a division of Franciscan Media); there is also a companion journal that accompanies the book and an audio version intended for women’s studies or for individual reflection. Cheryl’s titles also include the woman’s inspirational fiction book Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage. Elizabeth is available in paperback or Kindle format. Her company is Bezalel Books where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith and is located at To invite Cheryl to speak at your event, write her at

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  • Guest

    God loves you .

    Mrs. Dickow,

    Try this:

    “Saint Martha of Bethany – what to do next?”

    If you’re really fervent, she’ll nag you.

    Remember, I love you, too

    Reminding that we are all on the same side – His,

    Pristinus Sapienter

    (wljewell or …

  • Guest

    Cheryl, shame on you! (Says she of the equally dirty tubs, and the laundry piling up, and the dusting never done!)  Thank God for Confession, where we can admit that we've "lost our first love" (for housework) and pray for the grace to attend to the work God has given us.

    I have the poorest of excuses: my mother was one of those obsessive-compulsive housekeepers–the kind where you could literally eat off the floor.  I vowed at a young age that I would never be a "slave" to my home–that people were more important to me than things.  It's way too easy to slough off the things I don't want to do anyway for the things I'd rather do.

    Dear P.S.: Thank you for the 'direction'.  I hope St. Martha is up to a dyed-in-the-wool 'Mary'.