Saturday, March 06, 2010

Lenten reflections

Lent - a liturgical time for;
  • hot cross buns
  • the way of the cross
  • candles
  • purple
  • sacrifices galore
  • feasting
  • fasting
  • reflection
  • developing new habits
  • more prayer
During Lent, as always, it's a time to step it up, a time when I very much appreciate my morning visits chatting with my heavenly father, telling him, no spilling the beans about every little bitty thing in my life I have to have his assistance and guidance on, or issues I need to beg for mercy about, or requesting often for forgiveness..... alone together - just he and I.

This is one of my favorite verses for my morning reflections;

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

~ Psalm 139:23,24

Together in the early morning hours when the house is yet quiet, shortly after my husband leaves for work and daybreak is about to bid me good day, I seek and I always find for my heavenly father and I have our bonding time. Alone. Together.

I'm realizing more and more as I age, every new day offers more opportunities for grace, patience, charity and humility.

I live for the infusing of these virtues, in turn to practice them because I am aware of all my weaknesses as I am a sinner and not very good at all of those things, all of the time.

I do try though, I do. I fail often (just ask my kids, one or two in particular would be more than happy to tell you all of my faults, grin). Such is life for everyone, especially for a parent.
"But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
we are the clay, and You our potter;
and all we are the work of Your hand."

~ Isaiah 64:8

I love the ability to call out his name and beg for a kickstart to reboot my thoughts, my heartaches, my concerns, my hopes, my dreams and over and over again, I can offer complete thanksgiving and be ever thankful for every little thing in my life.

New beginnings. That's the ultimate ending to Lent because new habits are formed day to day within those forty days. Better habits to (hopefully) last a lifetime.

  • I love Lent!
  • I love purple!
  • I love the tease at mass last weekend with the purple shrouds gently placed and laying under all holy items, perhaps in preparation of the veiling soon to come.
  • I love the bells and smells, the reverence.
  • I love the way of the cross, walking it in prayer and candlelight with my family.
  • I love the ability for a renewed, zestful purpose of life and redeeming grace to enter the core of my very soul.
  • So many things are such a blessing during Lent, if only we look to find them. Sacrifices and blessings, a perfect balance.
It seems every year during Lent, my husband endures additional items during March and April requiring extra courage and patience. The parade of semi annual doctor and specialists' visits begins again and just a tad of emotional fragility involuntarily surfaces to enter wholeheartedly into the big picture for us as a couple.

As an aside and still on a memorable Lenten note - It's been over a year since my hubby entered his seven week long hospitalization program for respiratory physio bootcamp. He has yet to be released as a day patient, still driving twice weekly for his usual routine. And for the past three months, he's been waiting to hear when he must return for his yearly respiratory bootcamp again. It seems the waiting list includes a new bunch of emergent patients, so we wait to find out. Perhaps by the summer he'll still enter, who knows. Again, life on the edge.

The hospital claimed last year he now completely belonged to them - for the rest of his life, and like the "Hotel California", you can visit but you can never leave, and that's about right.

All kidding aside, I like them keeping him close and taking good care of him because they could see right through him and know exactly what his weaknesses are and his requirements in all ways. I love that.

And I love how everything turned out last year when he had to enter the hospital last year, with only 48 hours notice and during Lent of all times, when he felt more down than ever in his whole life. Shortly after the first week when I thought he would come home never to return, cold turkey quit actually what would in fact end up being one of the very best things for his wellness, ever.

Just when it all got too hard, in walks another fellow hospital lung disease patient into his life, that of "Bob" who usually sat at the back of his first class each morning, the man he later found out was actually "Fr. Bob", a retired priest who soon became a calming presence for my husband during his Lenten days in hospital.

Angels are everywhere, I have witnessed several pass by our lives over the past 18 months! I have no doubt they are still here, hovering, waiting and wondering when we he/we once again require their heavenly wings to swoosh down to brush our cheeks again.

Oh, Thank you my Lord! Thank you for your sweet angels.

Lent. Like my husband told me when I entered into labor with a child ... Don't waste your suffering, and during lent we might add; and your sacrificing, your fasting and praying.

Yes, indeed, there are so many things to pray for.