Skip to main content

And thus it begins...

I'm thinking Lent. 

I'm thinking Lent because I just led a pre-Lenten retreat for the candidates, catechumens and sponsors at our parish.  It was a great day, and a good way to get everyone ready for the rigors of Lent.

That being said, I try not to plan my Lent out too much.  This is from hard-earned experience.  As a friend of mine (who happens to be a nun) told me on Tuesday,  "Lent usually has a way of finding us."  This is her way of saying that God has a plan for our Lent, and relying on our own plan too much will usually get us derailed, bewildered, and downright upset:  "Hey, I was gonna pray the Rosary every day, and give up chocolate and Diet Coke, and go to Stations of the Cross every Friday, but then I got the flu and well, my Lent was just awful!!!"

Uh, maybe YOUR Lent was derailed, but perhaps GOD'S Lent for you went just as planned.

It's good to have a plan for Lent.  It's good to assure yourself that you're gonna pray, fast and be generous with your time and talents and money.  It's good to be concrete in how you plan to do that.  It is pig-headed to believe it's the only way, or deny that God may have something else planned.

I'm thinking Lent, and I've got a plan (my plan, by the way, is no meat).  However, I've also got an open heart and an open mind for God's voice and will.  Maybe He'll go with my plan, but I'm pretty sure He'll have a few Lenten options He'd like me to take part in.  And I will think about that as Lent unfolds.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …