January 22, 2007

Day of Penance

"Then He said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

I've been meditating on this verse all day today.

Today's a Day of Penance for the Evil of Abortion. I am praying and fasting. Tonight I will go to Confession and Mass. I plan to pray a Rosary for Life later.

Denying myself is not something I do well. I love to eat and fasting is difficult for me. Sometimes, my love of food comes dangerously close to being an addiction or a worship of food. If only I spent as much time on serving and loving the Lord as I do on planning my next meal, I feel I'd be well on my way to Sainthood.

In carrying my daily crosses, I can't say that I do so without complaint. I seem to be always looking for a St. Simon to help me carry it. Certainly, the Lord helps me when I ask. But, even for Him, there are times when He says (like any parent), "Cathy, you just have to learn how to do this yourself. I'll be nearby and watching".

I'm thinking of my whine the other day about a "lack" of available Confessionals at a time that is convenient for ME. I've been reflecting on this post a lot over the last several days. I've decided that I'm being tested. I thought Confession was a complete waste of time and unecessary for over a decade. Now, I feel like I'm being watched to see if I truly mean what I profess now that Confession is lovely and I'd be bereft without it. How far am I willing to go to be Reconciled? How much of an inconvience am I willing to endure for the gift of His Grace upon me?

Now I want to talk about fasting.

I have many liberal, "greenie", friends who fast on a regular basis. All of them are members of the Church of the Pagans (patent pending!). They meditate, do Yoga, read Tarot cards, smoke a lot of dope and cigarettes, suffer for their "art", hang out at coffeehouses all day (you are right, they are barely employed!).

Anyway, I have to give them mad props for having the mental discipline to fast on a regular basis. They will fast for anything. An end to whale hunting, Tibet, for the grape farmers in California, AIDS funding, imprisoned victims of torture, Leonerd Peltier, Hillary Clinton, pasty's made with turnips, you name it and they will fast for it.

Usually, they will accompany their fast with meditation, intense Yoga or both.

Honestly, I'm ashamed of myself. If these pagans can sustain a fast, why do I fail so miserably when my Church asks me to fast a few days/year?

There's that food worship again.

This, too, is a test for me today. I walk into the office and some nice co-worker baked cookies. St. Michael the Archangel...walk on by. Oh, look, the Cafeteria is serving my favorite Pannini sandwich today....Hail Mary...walk on by.

My fasting buddies say fasting clears the mind.

It does.

Now that I am replacing my food obsession with prayer. A sin of my life that I had completely forgotten about bubbled up.

I have been complicit in 3 murders during my lifetime. I know 3 women who had abortions. I almost drove one of them to the clinic. I said nothing to discourage any of them. If anything, I encouraged them by my silence. My silence and my offers of "help" were my support.

My friends, it is not an accident that I just remembered these terrible deeds today of all days. Tonight, I will have the opportunity to purge myself of the stain on my soul.

Right after I recalled this sin, I read that Minnesota Mom lost her baby. I cried. I'm tearing up again.

May God forgive me.

Pray for Minnesota Mom and her family, will you, please?


Blogger Ray from MN said...

I will indeed pray for Minnesota Mom and for you too, Cathy.

Thank you for sharing what you didn't do on this important day.

January 22, 2007 5:48 PM  

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