Sunday, February 28, 2016

I, Too, Must Stand and Watch

(Continuing to share the short Stations of the Cross reflections we had at my church...
The style of these reflections is that we imagine what Jesus might say at each station, and then reply with what we should say.  The following is the reflection that accompanied Jesus Meets His Mother:)

Jesus says:

My mother sees me whipped.

She sees me kicked and driven like a beast.

She counts my every wound.

But though her soul cries out in agony,
no protest or complaint escapes her lips
or even enters her thoughts.

She shares my martyrdom - and I share hers.

We hide no pain, 
no sorrow,
from each other's eyes.

This is my Father's will.

I Reply

My Jesus, Lord,
I know what you are telling me.

To watch the pain of those we love
is harder than to bear our own.

To carry my cross after you,
I, too, must stand and watch
the sufferings of my dear ones - 
the heartaches, sicknesses and grief
of those I love.

And I must let them watch mine, too.

I do believe - 
for those who love you
all things work together unto good.

I hope you are all having a Blessed Lent.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Sliver of Cross

We had some beautiful, short reflections at the Stations of the Cross this week, and I will share some of them with you over the next few weeks as we near the Triduum.  

The style of these reflections is that we imagine what Jesus might say at each station, and then reply with what we should say.

Here is the reflection that accompanied Jesus Taking His Cross:

Jesus says:

This cross, this chunk of tree, is what my Father chose for me.

The crosses you must bear are largely products of your daily life.
And yet, my Father chose them, too, for you.

Receive them from His hands.

Take heart, my other self, I will not let your burdens grow one ounce too heavy for your strength.

I reply: 

My Jesus, Lord, I take my daily cross.

I welcome the monotony that often marks my day, discomforts of all kinds, the summer's heat, the winter's cold, my disappointments, tensions, setbacks, cares.

Remind me often that in carrying my cross, I carry yours with you.  

And though I bear only a sliver of your cross,
You carry all of mine, except a sliver, in return.  

I hope you are all having a blessed Lent.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Modern Day Apostle

"Go and proclaim the good news of the Gospel."

And with that, our priest made the sign of the cross in ashes on my forehead.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, the archbishop there asked his followers to "Unleash the Gospel".  He urged them to move from just maintaining the status quo to spreading God's word.  
They are lovely phrases, especially this time of year.  But what does all of that look like, exactly?  

I have one example from my own church.  

Last weekend I was chatting with an elderly man after mass.  He told me that during the week, he sat next to a young woman on a bench in town, and invited her to come to church with him.  

She accepted.

He was coming back to a mass later that day to meet her, and no doubt encourage her to do it again the following week.

When I asked him what made him take action, he turned and said "I just let the Lord work through me."

I then noticed he was holding three large jugs of water.

"Thirsty?", I questioned.

"No, this is holy water.  I am taking it with me to bless those I come across."

"How long will that last, 6 months?", I asked curiously.

"Maybe until next week," he smiled, "If I'm lucky."

He is truly a modern day apostle, and is a wonderful inspiration for me (and hopefully you!) this Holy season.

A Blessed Lent to you and your families.