Friday, March 11, 2011

Taking Up the we go! Week 1

Lent is off to a good start!

I know it's only been like 3 days, so I shouldn't count chickens or ducks or whatever, but I've actually been really surprised at how I've caught myself a couple of times (Okay, MORE than a couple... ) wanting to speaking negatively about an individual and stopping myself.

ALSO- I found out that my new friend St. Teresa of Avila also was prone to gossip in her day...Huzzah! I mean, imgaine that! There's hope!

Really the fact that I'm able to do ANYTHING about fasting from gossip this Lent is through the help of the Holy Spirit and good friends who are holding me accountable. Truth.

I'm also really proud of my women's group. We said we were going to be better about meeting regularly, and again- it's only been a month- but we met, though just 3 of us. And we had a conversation that, for me, flowed really well from last month's get together.

We talked about Lent (naturally) and also allowed the Holy Spirit to lead us through some spiritual reading. My friend G and I were commenting on how we like the liturgical seasons of Lent and Advent because there are goals and it is for a set period of time. It is somehow more difficult to stay committed to something if the goals are not concrete or end is not in foreseeable future...go figure.

The Lord continues to show me that this direction of working on vanity and selfishness and also being more focused on others/relationships is the way to go this Lent. I felt more convicted of this as I prayed the Stations of the Cross this first Friday.

Again, I don't know why I'm ever surprised how helpful the Stations of the Cross are in leading me to deeper unity with the Lord. I mean - DUH- it's kind of hard to think of anything else when you are walking through various points of Christ carrying his cross!

When I teach sacramentals to my juniors, we mention Stations and as an activity I have them get into groups and come up with their own ways of praying each station. I assign each group a station, they write a prayer as a group, and then we pray the 14th stations as a class. It's worked really well with each class and I'm always impressed with what they come up with.

Teenagers can relate really well to the stations. That may seem weird in this age of entitlement, but I think it's true. I discovered this when I was in parish youth ministry and they always requested to pray stations on retreat, regardless of the time of the liturgical year. I mean, if you think about it, there's a lot that is parallel to their lives: The falling and having to get back up- more than once. The carrying a cross they'd rather not have. The burdens. The trying to see something outside of themselves. Meeting people on their journey like Veronica, Mary, and Simon who can help them.

I used some of the stations that my students had written to guide my own meditation this week. I was particularly struck by a line for the 9th station- when Jesus falls a 3rd time. The student who wrote the station asked the Lord to help us to get up from the fall (which is to be expected) but then he alluded to conversion- a concept I wouldn't expect from a teen. He asked that the Lord help us to CHANGE and to not make the same mistake again.

I don't know if the student grasped the theological truth behind this. Perhaps...he is a smart kid. But it IS true that when we fall, to get up, we need to have a conversion. There needs to be a change to get up and want to keep going.

So this Lent I am working on and hoping for a change. And I agree with my friend G that the finite time limit to focus on this helps.

G and I are also doing a St Joseph's novena. St Joseph really came through for her last year along with Our Lady. I'm hoping the dynamic duo can pull through for me as I journey through Lent with them as my companions.

The sun is starting to peek out from behind those winter's to changes during this Lenten journey.

(Also, need I remind you that at the end of this journey, I will be dying to my 20's as the Lord "sends up His Spirit". There will most definitely be spirits involved on my end as well. Just another thing for me to reflect on as I contemplate conversion...I see what you did there, Jesus).

Cheers for change! ;)

1 comment:

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Love your post! I've been meaning to email you to say that even though I did not give up gossiping for Lent, I have caught myself numerous times and have stopped myself - and I blame (thank!) you for that! Ha ha... I guess it's been on my mind since our prayer group last week.

Glad to hear that Lent is off to a great start. I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon - and celebrating your birthday!