March 23, 2009

Forget Your Self -- A Lenten Spiritual Reflection

How many of you rolled your eyes and tuned out the minute you saw “Lenten Spiritual Reflecton” Yeah, me too. LOL!

If I were to give a Lenten “meditation”, “talk”, “presentation”, “rap”, “spoken word performance”, “drama” whatever..I’d keep it short. It would be this: “Forget Your Self”

Imagine for this Lent, for a CHANGE, you could forget your usual self? You could step out of your comfort zone and actually try to live like a Catholic for 40 days!?

40 days to start with and who knows where that could lead?

I know.

That’s why some of you are too scared to do it!

Gosh, if I make a resolution to pray every day, that could cut into my Hulu viewing time! Who knows where that could lead?

If I go to Confession before Easter, oh no, I may actually feel good afterwards and want to do it again!

If I start reading the Bible alongside the Catechism will the Magisterium start to make sense to me!? Oh, the humanity!

What are my “barely Catholic” friends going to say?

I know. They will be shocked. Ask yourself this: if they really are as truly “open to everything and everyone no matter where they are on their journey” why are they freaking out? Why are they turning their backs on you? I know. The supposedly liberated will not return my calls anymore. Oh well. Vaya con Dios. I know the Truth is a scary thing when you’ve spent your entire life denying it. It’s horrifying holding the mirror containing the 10 Commandments up to your face. Talk about “Picture of Dorian Gray”. I’d be terrified to see a painting of me wherein all my sins would show up on my complexion. Clinique does not make a deep cleanser for that. Sorry, I’ve checked.

Lent is, to me, a time to forget the self. Step away and back and forget about your baser instincts. You know the ones I mean. The big NO-NOs. The stuff listed in the mortal sin section of the “Examination of Conscience”

Don’t forget about those little ones too. The venial sins. The ones that eat away at you, slowly, like rot eats at a piece of healthy wood.

Sure. The dietary stuff is better than doing nothing but how many of us know Catholics (I used to be one!) who laughingly and mockingly say they are giving up chocolate for Lent. Big whoopidoo! No wonder the Baptists mock us. Is that it? Is that all the Sacrifice you have in you? Sure, chocolate may be habit for you, but, seriously, how many recovering chocolate addict 12-step groups are there?

Work on the really HEAVY stuff.

If I had a recommendation for those starting out with baby steps it would be these: daily Rosary (the real deal not wack crap like 12 Ecological Mysteries or some d--- a-- s---like that), Confession, Sunday Mass.

I know many of my regular readers are scratching their heads at how square one those recommendations sound. Honestly, those are revolutionary ideas to many.

Sunday Mass is SO critical to our life in Christ. It IS the Central Mystery. It is THE Sacrament. So many, Catholics, take it for granted. There is no substitute that you can do or perform on your own that will give glory to God as much as the priest (acting in the person of Christ) offers during Holy Mass. It IS Calvary. You are there. Just saying a quick prayer on your way to the baseball game on Sunday and calling that an adequate substitute for your presence as part of the Community of believers present at The Sacrifice is weak and pathetic.

So often during my dissident days, I felt like the Community (and as an extension-God) should be honored that I condescended to find an hour in my busy schedule to join them for Mass. I was also surrounded by people who felt and acted the same way. Step out of your self.

I fall off the wagon, often, during my Lenten resolutions/intentions. It’s never too late to get back on. There are only a few weeks left, get on it! Better late than NEVER has seldom been truer.


Blogger Fr. Andrew said...

I love the sliver of "cranky" in the midst of a merciful post: (the real deal not wack crap like 12 Ecological Mysteries or some d--- a-- s---like that). A little leaven really does season the whole loaf!

I do thank you for the encouragement- my Lenten resolutions derailed for a while as well.

March 23, 2009 4:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hi Father! That's the edited version. Really. True to my word I offered a DM Chaplet for you before Mass this afternoon.

March 23, 2009 7:19 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

where can I get my hands on a copy of those ecological mysteries? That sounds totally groovy. I could really connect with something like that.


March 23, 2009 7:50 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Sure, Chris. I believe you.


March 23, 2009 7:57 PM  
Blogger Fr. Andrew said...

Over at my blog they're more cranky than you've ever been, Cathy!

March 23, 2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

But what about ME Cath?

March 23, 2009 8:53 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

Ecological mysteries? You're joking, right? Egads - I bet the, I mean "nuns" at the cathedral would love that - meshes so well with their healing touch and reiki and all that CRAP!

March 23, 2009 9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's never too late to get back on!? But what if I like having the excuse that sheesh, since I've blown it this bad--might as well quit now--allright--I'll get up and get back on. Very excellent post BTW.

March 23, 2009 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I'm back on again...praise God! Great post.

March 24, 2009 7:46 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Father: I know. I saw it yesterday. Everyone go over and help Father!

Strong winds kept messing with my Internet connection last night so I gave up online a little after 8. I'm sure Terry had something to do with it since he's upset that I'm not talking about him! LOL!

Really, I made the 12 Ecological Mysteries up. But, can't you just see it? Oh! I see Angela sent me an email...better go read that!

L: Yeah!

Tara: I know you know how to pick yourself back up. :-)

March 24, 2009 8:42 AM  

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