Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lent Reflection: Ash Wednesday

Wednesday was a day of travel for me. I spent much of the day in transit by car or in the air. I was worried I would miss my flight, so I skipped morning Mass and went to an evening service in my destination city, Knoxville, Tennessee. It was the right thing to do.

The All Saints Catholic Church has a school affiliation and the sanctuary filled to capacity for the 5:00 pm service. The children were singing beautifully off-key and the pastor's homily was spot on for what I needed to hear on this day. He reminded me of the three facets of Lent: Penitence, fasting and almsgiving. I've been bombarded with ideas for Lenten commitments and have chosen one for myself. The reminder of almsgiving though gave me pause. I thought of ways I can be always prepared to give and hope that I can add this in.

My commitment for Lent, however, is including the Compline, or night prayers, from the Liturgy of the Hours in my bedtime routine. Really what my focus and intent is will bring a reflection of my conscience and an emphasis on the day. I hope that this is a habit I can form in 40 days, but if not, I plan to keep practicing.

Do not let resentment lead you into sin; the sunset must not find you still angry. 
Do not give the devil his opportunity. - Ephesians 4:26-27

Last night's prayer and meditation helped me to see that I can use some kindness in some of my relationships, and curiosity as well. Conversation has become difficult with some family because of attitudes and things said in recent months. These aren't things that are related to politics like some strained relationships are experiencing. I have been working through my upset, and it's really more about hearing words that are contrary to life-long beliefs I have had about people in my family, particularly my dad, who I thought had been part of my formation in support of equality in how to treat others. Nik says he's trying to stir things up on purpose, that dad enjoys upsetting me. In either case, it's not right and it's not fun for me. And so my response is to shut it down and not engage in the conversations as fully as I might with others. Why would I want to subject myself to that behavior? And when I've tried to engage on why it's hurtful, wrong or offensive, I get that thrown in my face as well. It's truly difficult for me.

The Laudate app on my phone has the prayer available with the daily Psalms. Find the app in your app store (Apple | Android)

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