Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
I hope you had a good time at the Mardi Gras celebration. For us Fat Tuesday came on Fat Saturday, Samedi Gras. Doesn’t sound as good as Mardi. Once again, I’m writing this Twitch before last night’s gastric spectacular. I’m a man of hope, so I expect I will have something of a Cheshire cat smile on my face when you see me next.

Thank you to the women of our Council of Catholic Women (SSCCW), especially Kate Heffner and Kaye Drohan who worked hard to give us a great time together.

Mardi Gras reminds me of being a little like a bear bulking up to get ready for a winter’s hibernation. However, we are preparing, not for hibernation but meditation, contemplation, reflection, introspection. My Thesaurus also gave me other words: thought, consideration, musing, concentration, deliberation.

Seems like meditation which was my first word has a whole lot of synonyms. To have all those other ways of describing the concept must be saying something about just how important the activity is.

All those words are a way of trying to get our arms around shaping and taking a Lenten journey.

That’s the problem with Christian mysteries. We have gotten so used to them that we take them for granted. The Mystery of Easter is the at the core of all we could hope for.

We stop the ‘party’ of daily life. We begin to look inward. Jesus, prepared for his public ministry by spending 40 days in desert solitude. That’s what Lent is, a time of backing off from the everyday contacts and transactions. I know that’s easy for me to say, and hard for all of us to do. But think about Jesus. What did he do out there? What was he thinking? What did he know? What?

After all, if he was, as scriptures says, “tested in every way, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15) then all those questions could surely have been on his mind and heart.

HOW DO WE PREPARE? How do we gear up for really understanding in deeper ways, the great gift of God’s love that Easter symbolizes?

In the last week I was trying (somewhat half-heartedly) to do a little straightening up in the rectory. On a shelf in the chapel, I found a little stack of notebooks in which I jotted down reflections from here and there. This particular bunch covered the years I have been here at St. Sebastian, coming up on 10. I read until after 2:00 a.m. For a while, I was on a mini-carousel of the new and the old.

It’s been a long time since I sat on a merry-go-round. (I think it was on Martha’s Vineyard.) Your horse doesn’t change, but all the things around you are constantly moving and adjusting. You can choose to focus on one or another, or not.

That reminds me of last Sunday’s reading Sirach 15:17: Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.

I think for Lent, I’m going to go through those notes more thoroughly (and not at 2:00 a.m.) I’m not interested in history for its own sake, but maybe to make myself more accountable. This will be about the future, not the past.

Here we are again, at the beginning of Lent, saying, “What should I give up? What should I do?” Good luck. But whatever comes to you, just ask the Holy Spirit to let your endeavor bring you closer and deeper to God’s love. After all, Mystery means you’ll always have more to discover. And as Corinthians told us last Sunday, “We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Have a good trip, and pray for me while you travel as I will for you.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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