Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Continuing on in Patience ~ The Lenten Journey 2

The Eighth Station of the Cross:
Jesus meets /comforts the women of Jerusalem ...

I can hardly believe we are in the 5th week of Lent already! It seems that I am finally into the rhythm of this blessed season and now it is almost Holy Week. I can get down on myself sometimes when I acknowledge to myself that I haven't quite lived up to my expectations of how this Lenten season should have gone for myself ... sigh! Each day is a new start though in God's eyes and so I need to try to make today better than yesterday!

At Mass this morning the first reading was from the Book of Numbers (Numbers 21:4-9). The words that really struck me were, "...with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses ..."
I travel a lot and I can thoroughly identify with this attitude - journeys can make us weary! The journey of our faith life or spiritual life is not much different. I don't know about you, but I can get pretty impatient with myself and with God sometimes in my prayer, especially when I think nothing is happening, or don't feel like it is making a difference in my life or a situation.
I guess that is why I have included a picture of one of the station of the cross - a devotion by the way, that has Franciscan roots! Jesus' journey to Calvary was not easy (which is an understatement) and yet he continued on! He has patient trust in God and in what he needs to endure. In the midst of it all, Jesus stops to give comfort to the women -He was not thinking of himself ... He tells them instead to take care of others, especially their children. I think one can only have this posture if they are deeply rooted and centered in God.

St. Francis wrote in The Rule of the Third Order Regular (TOR Rule 8):
Within themselves, let them always make a dwelling place and home for the one who is Lord God almighty, Father, and Son and Holy Spirit, so that, with undivided hearts, they may increase in universal love by continually turning to God and to neighbor (Jn 14:23).
It is the faithfulness to the journey that is important, and always striving to allow God to be God in my life ... To look to Jesus and draw my strength ... and patience from Him ! Blessings to you in these last days of Lenten journeying!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Live Life ~ A Lenten Reflection

Live the Life You Love .... I say ...
Love the Life you Live and ... Live to the Fullest!
I know ... it has been a number of weeks since I last wrote. It seems I have been coming and going a lot lately and I will be traveling again in the morning to the east coast, but I thought I would share a couple of quick thoughts. A couple of weeks ago I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Live the Life You Love". I thought it was interesting, but I felt like something was missing in that saying. Yesterday when I was out for my walk, I saw the saying again ... Living the life you love is important, but in some ways it could turn selfish if we are not careful. So, I add "Love the Life You Live and Live it to the Fullest!"
Life brings a lot of ups and downs and sometimes things are not always the way we like it, but our attitude can make a lot of difference. This season of Lent is a good time to step back and to examine the life we live.
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM - a popular speaker and author once said "God loves life! Why else would 90% of all life live at the depths of the oceans where no person has ever seen it! - God loves life!" I might not have the quote exactly correct (it was a long time ago when I heard that talk on tape), but I do believe Fr. Rohr has a point! Think of all the variety and diversity of living things - it is amazing!
So perhaps these are good days to step back and reflect on that gift of life and how you (we) can live the life we have to the fullest! The other day as I was going through things in my room, I found a very little book (a pocket book) called "The Wisdom of the Desert" with writings from Thomas Merton. I thought, hmmm, a good little book to keep close during Lent ... Opening to somewhere in the middle I read, "Abbot Pastor said: If you have a chest full of clothing, and leave it for a long time, the clothing will rot inside it. It is the same with the thoughts in our heart. If we do not carry them out by physical action, after a long while they will spoil and turn bad." I think that could mean positive and negative thoughts .... Something to ponder during these Lenten days.