Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lenten Reflections - 1st 9 days of Lent

Day One: Where can you know abundant life? Where can you still grow?
            I can know abundant life by paying attention. Our Lord has richly blessed me in all ways, and if I am simply aware of what God is doing in my life, the abundance is overwhelming. I can grow my faith and awareness by scripture, prayer time, and sharing God’s blessings with others.

Day Two: What new word is God speaking to you today?
            The word I am hearing is “Less”. Less food, less drink, less noise: Less of all things in which I tend to indulge. I’m also hearing “More”. More quiet, more prayer, more silence with God, more focus on the important things which I have neglected.

Day Three: Write a wish for your journey along the way.
            My wish for this journey is to reclaim my relationship with God. I have abdicated God’s place as first in my heart, mind and most especially, time. I wish to again grow closer, devoted to quiet time with spirit, and give myself to that place of peace and consent, for the Trinity to reign in all areas of my life.

Day Four: Can you allow yourself to be vulnerable and be embraced?
            It is easy to be vulnerable before the presence of God, to allow myself to open before Him, and pour out my frailties and confusion, knowing that God loves me as I am, and frequently feeling His embrace of Love.
            Doing that with other people is very different. I have some difficulty with being vulnerable, but as I have aged and gone through all sorts of difficulties, it is becoming easier to let others see my weaknesses. At the same time, I have always been open to being embraced – at least in the ways of friendship and family. Yet I find myself continuing to strive to be the caregiver, even when I am hurting. The realization dawns upon me that I must allow others to care-give to me: that allowing others to reciprocate is also allowing them the grace to express love. There is a freedom, a relaxation in even the idea of being cared for that allows my shoulders and back to relax. Stoicism is not necessarily a good thing, I realize…

Day Five: What do you understand about who God is?
            I have a unique understanding of God, due to my experience of being “slain in the spirit” in 1992, on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I truly believe that God allowed me to feel his unconditional love enveloping me through that experience, and I KNOW, without doubt, of God’s Love and can recall being completely immersed in it. I came out of that with the knowledge that Love encompasses all, and is the ultimate power that moves Creation and everything in it. God’s love is the current that holds creation in place, and it exists in each nano-cell of everything in creation, including the places that we term “void”. God is pure and complete unconditional love that holds the planets in their courses, and even the smallest parts of creation in that love. It is that love that allows “even the rocks to sing” – though we haven’t the ears to hear their singing.

Day Six: How could you be playful in showing love to others today?
            Playfulness is so easy at times, and difficult at others. Today, I will choose to be playful: with my spouse and my friends, as well as those I encounter. How? Well, smiling comes easily to me, and that is a way to impact anyone whose path I cross. Greetings to passersby can perk up their day. Perhaps it is simply an attitude change: deciding to be playful makes me so. I think that works! We’ll see.

Day Seven: What is your reminder that you are loved?
            Again (see Day Five) I KNOW this beyond anything else in my life. Remembering it on a moment-to-moment basis is, however, not where I live. It is my desire to keep this knowledge always in my awareness, for when it is, I am a better person to those around me – more loving, more joyful, more giving. This meditation itself is a reminder that the desire to keep God’s amazing love for all of creation in the forefront of my consciousness will make my life and the world a better place. May it be so.

Day Eight: Where was God for you today?
            God was in the beautiful sunshine and the singing of birds. I found God in nature around me as I walked down to get the paper. I found God in the smiles and waves of people on the street as I drove by. He was in the joy of children in the stores, in the hands of Theresa as she softened my hands and feet and made them prettier, in Amy’s strength as she massaged my aches away. I saw God in my sweetheart’s eyes as he greeted me. And God was in the words of Jessica’s story, which she shared as her Lenten discipline. God’s creation and His love surrounded my day, and I am blessed.

Day Nine: What does God especially cherish about you?
            What immediately popped into my mind was that God cherishes my failings. Now why that occurred makes me pause: I know God loves it when I am “right on” with him – aware and in love with God and all of His people. Yet I have a niggling feeling that He loves me even more when I struggle and fall short, as I do each and every day. In God’s wisdom, She knows that my desire is to be the best person I can be, and it aches God’s heart and God draws even closer to me when I fail to achieve that goal. God’s love is infinite and unconditional, and the cherishing continues without subsidence, even when I am at my weakest in returning that love to God by loving those I encounter.

No comments: