Sunday, March 08, 2009
Get rid of PALE GAS
Lent is already in its second week! I came across some notes I made a few years ago in a Lenten journal: PALE GAS. I thought to myself, "What's that?" The seven letters represent seven sins, better known as the capitol sins. These are the ones we struggle with that have little "side bars" attached to them. The first is pride; then comes anger; then lust; then envy, the "green monster"; the letter g stands for gluttony, which can also be cholesterol laden and a real killer; avarice is the second A, another name for greed; sloth, the last, is the one that lets everything slide downhill. Some of the side bars may be arrogance, gossiping, stinginess, sadness when certain others do well, and I miss the mark. The three main "works" of Lent are geared to diminishing the effects of Pale Gas. These three are prayer, fasting and alms giving. Honest prayer and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit help us to recognize the inroads of Pale Gas. Grace also helps us to apply the remedies which open us to the gifts of the Spirit.
Last weekend I spoke to two groups about St. Paul and Lent. Lent was not yet instituted when Paul was alive. His sufferings and imprisonments made his life as an Apostle one long journey, very similar to our Lent. He said to the Galatians (2:19)"I am crucified with Christ." In Ephesians 4 he says to "live a life" worthy of our calling.
Some of the people whom I met did not realize that many of the hymns and songs we use at Mass are words from the Letters of St. Paul. Today we sang one of the "Pauline hymns" called "Only this I Want."
May St. Paul help us to continue our Lenten journey toward Easter with humility and determination. I like the short prayer our Founder, Blessed Alberione, gave us: "By myself, I can do nothing. But, with God, I can do all things. To God the honor and glory; to me Paradise!"