I can’t believe it’s Sunday already! This week we had a Lenten post from Kendra about Beauty in the Little Things and my Lenten reflection. Jim and I went to Pre-Cana day all day yesterday so we went to Mass last night. He’s making a guest appearance because we spent the whole day together!
Woooo. Happy couple.
Solo picture. I generally don’t wear jeans to Mass but we were at that event all day so there it was. I am wearing a sweater from Old Navy, tank top is from H&M, jeans from H&M and shoes from DSW. I’ve worn these flats a million times before. Can you tell I forgot my nice camera? Because I did. Oops.
Now for our beautiful reflection by Mary at Passionate Perseverance called “A Date with God”. Enjoy!
Thanks so much to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for allowing me the privilege of sharing today’s Lenten reflection.
Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Can you believe it? We are only three weeks away from Easter Sunday. I feel like I just got into my Lenten rhythm and before you know it, Easter will be here. I don’t know about you, but this has not been the easiest of seasons for me. I have been distracted and discouraged, and more times than not I failed in my Lenten promises to Christ.
When I was in the third grade, I used to write down my sins on a piece of notebook paper so I wouldn’t forget. I kept that little piece of paper in my pencil case. I was ready for whenever Mrs Dompka would take the class to our monthly confession. Needless to say, by the time I got to seventh grade I ditched this practice before my classmates found out, and listed the sins in my head.
I am now a forty-five year old cradle Catholic, schooled by nuns, who still tracks sins in her head. You would think that I would have this whole “sacrificial Lenten offering” thing down pat by now. Not so much. No matter how old you are or how much life experience you have, sacrifices are hard and require discipline and focus, both of which are sorely lacking in my life. My mental “sin list” keeps growing, and I know what that means. It’s time to “hit the box” as my dad would say.
They say confession is good for the soul. Great. But since going to confession still brings up memories of sweaty armpits and scary nuns, I must prepare. A simple mental list won’t anymore. As I have gotten older, I realize that I need to dig a little deeper into the “why” of my sins.
As I read todays readings and take a deep breath, God’s word brings an uncomfortable truth (that’s another blog post) and a longed for peace. First there was Psalm 34: 2-7. The last two verses resonate when I read these words. “Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress He saved him.”
Read these verses again.
When I am the poor one calling out in my distress, God hears and saves me. And I am so grateful. As women we tend to be hard on ourselves, unforgiving of our own weaknesses. This Lent, I find my lack of self forgiveness has been a recurring theme for me. I have struggled with self criticism as I fight to stay on track with my Lenten practices. It’s frustrating and leads me down a negative mental path.
Then I read today’s Gospel, the story of The Prodigal Son. I love this Gospel. The Prodigal Son messed up in an epic fashion and crawled back to his father begging for forgiveness. His father not only opened his arms, welcomed him home, and forgave all his transgressions, but his father celebrated his return.
”For this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:32)
Isn’t this what Christ does for us every time we go to confession? What a grace we have as Catholics. We have the opportunity to enter into God’s house and unburden ourselves of all that we have done wrong. Not only does He forgive my sins, He celebrates my return to a state of grace. He celebrates my coming back home to Him.
When was the last time you went to confession? Isn’t it time to make a date with God?
Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace. Thank you for never abandoning me in my selfishness and lack of humility. Thank you for the incredible sacrament of confession that restores our relationship. Where would I be without you?
“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”