Sunday, March 30, 2014

Laetare Sunday Rejoice

I don't know about you, but I have mixed feelings about Laetare Sunday, or Rejoice Sunday. A part of me says, "Be happy. The end of Lent is getting near! Another part, way down deep says, "Too bad! Time has gone so fast. I barely realized it was Lent." I just checked with my desk calendar. Easter is only three weeks away. The only time I and you have is now. So let's make the best of it.
Did you resolve to do or to avoid something for Lent: a food, an activity, a place? Why not dust off the excuses and start again. God looks at our efforts. As Mother Teresa said, probably hundreds of times, God does not ask success from us, but the effort to do good. As St. Theresa of the Child Jesus did, we can compare our forays into spiritual combat with ourselves as an infant learning to walk on her own. At first she may hoist herself up by hanging onto her crib. In the crib she walks around by hanging on. Once she is out onto the floor with nothing to steady her, she crawls then gets up, and soon is down again. Walking is a learned exercise. Who can count all the times that a baby walks a few feet then plops down on her round bottom. Then she rolls over and is up again. Anyone familiar with little kids knows what I mean. How often a baby starts out, falls, and looks up for approval from a grown up. Even if we are not looking up, God is watching our every desire to do good and to be good. In the Biblical Book of Hosea, God says, "It is love that I desire, and not sacrifice." In the same chapter, God assures us, "Even if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow." We have a loving and forgiving God. May your fourth week of Lent be an exercise in loving and forgiving: first yourself and then the ones near you. Blessed James Alberione offers a short prayer to help us when we feel we haven't "made it" yet in our spiritual life:
By myself, I can do nothing. But with God, I can do sll things. To him honor and glory; to me the eternal reward.

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