Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
REJOICE!  ...and not simply because we made it half way through Lent, but because we are drawing closer and closer to the moment when we celebrate with all the enthusiasm we can, the Resurrection of the Lord.

The very color of the vestments gives us a preview, a promise of sunrise. We’ve had discussions over the years of just precisely what today’s liturgical color is, and of course, we all know the vestment color ROSE!

On a more serious note, I’d like to pose a question. If you knew this was the last Easter you’d celebrate, would it affect the way you celebrated? As I think about it, I find myself chuckling. If I knew this was my last earthly Easter, I would be making sure the glide path was open and free of the mindlessness and self-preoccupation that so frequently obstructs my path. What about you?

And then on top of it, if this were the last one, I’m sure that Easter here won’t begin to compare to Easter there. The potential of this being the last would deepen my sense of urgency about desiring the everlasting one. Then of course, in true Irish-guilt fashion, I find myself saying, “Why wouldn’t ALL my Easters deserve a sense of urgency.” Ah well, at this point I think I hear God chuckling, too.

Maybe chuckling is what the Laetare is all about. Our eternity is what Jesus died for, so we can’t help getting ahead of ourselves and jumping to the end of Lent. Our time of self-examination and penance gets put on hold while we anticipate the ending of the story and say, “This is going to work out really great!”

I find myself asking the Lord to keep me from presuming on his mercy, even though I am totally convinced that what we sing is true: “The Lord is kind and merciful... slow to anger... rich in kind-ness...The Lord is kind and merciful.”

I have some excellent Lenten resources I’ve been looking at and praying with. In fact, it’s like coming up to this fantastic buffet and hardly knowing where to start. Sometimes, you can start eating, and you just keep eating because you’re on a roll. (No pun or puns intended.)

When it comes to the spiritual buffet, sometimes I can confuse dedicated reading with real spirituality. I won’t come up for breath to ask myself what effect my reading is having on the way I live and love. Do I really learn?
Often over the years, people will mention that they missed their morning prayers or evening prayers. They are upset, but sometimes don’t see how their habit (which, when good, is virtue) becomes mechanical. Sometimes you need to stop and just be still and know that long before you had a chance to get them all in, God heard your heart.

It goes to the issue I raised in the homily last Sunday. How overwhelming is God’s love, and what brings it home to me is being able to say, however hesitantly, “I love you, too.” I don’t say to God, “I love you.” That’s HIS line. I say, “I love you, TOO!” What allows me to say that to God? It’s believing that he has first loved me. Isn’t that what John says? “In this is love: not that we have  loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as  expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) That’s not a bad conversation to be having with God, much less a very special act of faith that lets you hope and believe He really is there... for you.

My fingers are going faster than my mind, so I’m going to stop now, and go back, edit, and repair and pray that the rose in our vestment be¬comes a rising in our hearts.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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