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Archive for February, 2012

An Affirmative Lent


All too often leading up to Lent we found ourselves feeling grim and honestly dreading the next 40 days. And to be fair for most of living memory Lent always occupied a spot in the calendar as that time of sullen disposition. Not too say that Lent should not be a fasting and abstaining, but with every area we fast in, there can be a feast in another area. Lent should not just be another re-reminder of our New Years diet resolution plans (not that there anything wrong with having those) but it include a positive and not just a self inflicted fasting. 

Lenten journeys should never be alone; we are community of faith together all walking with different imperfections or struggles, but still we travel down the same path. Let last Sunday’s Gospel about the four who led the paralytic man be our guide for going down this journey together as one people united Christ’s Mystical Body! To quote the song, “we take care our own.”

Personally during Lent I hope to find more time for God in my daily life in the formal and informal ways. I have always been a fan of saying the rosary and I will resolve to say one decade each day during Lent. I will of course abstain from meat on Fridays and be watchful to balance/moderate other things. Lent for me is a time to fast and abstain, but I always firmly believe we can find so much more in God, others, and ourselves if we try for something more challenging that rocks the boat. Lent should and can be both a time to fasting and feasting! 

Lent is the beginning of the church’s holy spring with the blooming coming after 40 days. Until then lets make this Lenten journey together enjoy what it may bring our way!!

 

 

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One of the many lessons we learn in life is how to deal with things and accept them once they have passed. Often times we ask ourselves, “why” or “how” this or that happened? And all to often we get the cliche response/assurance, “everything happens for a reason.” This same response has been offered to me on more than one occasion. Going through my year at FrancisCorps has offered me several experiences where I have been left with feeling lost and questioning only to begrudgingly conclude the “everything happens for a reason” conclusion. 

Interestingly a friend shared with me a passage on this very topic and I think it is worth sharing in this blog post: 

Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be but when you lock eyes with them you know that very moment that they will effect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you at the time that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair, but in reflection you realize that with overcoming those obstacles you would never realize your potential, strength, will power, or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of luck. Illness, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet affect your life. The successes and downfall that you experience can create whom you are and the bad experiences can be learned from, in fact they are probably the most poignant and important ones. If someone hurts you, betrays you, or breaks your heart, forgive them because they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they have loved you but also because they are teaching you to love and open your heart and eyes to little things. Make very day count. Appreciate everything that you possibly can for you may never experience it again.

Talk to people whom you have never talked to before and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to.

Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. Create your own life and then go out and live it.

“If you take your eyes off your goals, all you see is obstacles.”

 

We may never know everything but it is important to remember how everything from the greatest to the lowest, the most small to the grandest events of our lives happen for a reason. Accepting this with faith is the central nature of believing in God and making the most out of our lives. My FrancisCorps experience has help to keep on teaching me this valuable lesson. I whomever reads this post will take to the heart the passage and the hope it gives! 

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