context: "What did the Sacrifice consist of? Placing before her own interests - always - those of others. An oblatory delirium, because this was the life she had chosen: to occupy herself full time with her unreasonable parents, her hypochondriac mother-in-law, her maladjusted children, her homesick Filipino maid," and so on. "She was always reaching out and available, like a punching bag …"
definition from the free dictionary: from Oblation: The act of offering something, such as worship or thanks, to a deity; a charitable offering or gift.
my thoughts: The mother's a martyr, always giving of herself, always ready to slight her own comfort to assuage the distresses of others. She is never properly recognized for this Sacrifice, of course. The son (& narrator) finds Mother's giving of herself to be dysfunctional, maybe even a mental disorder, a delirium.
source:The Worst Intentions a novel by Alessandro Piperno, translated by Ann Goldstein