Lenten Reflections

Photograph of St. Therese 1

"I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." These are the words of Therese of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun who lived a cloistered life of obscurity in the convent of Lisieux, France. 

It is almost Easter, and that means it is the Lenten season for Catholics.  It is a time to reflect and sacrifice.  I have done neither.

At a time in my life when I should be slowing down, it seems my life is still running rampant.  It seems that each day challenges me with unexpected events.

I would love to be able to turn off the television and just sit still and meditate on what is important.  I live in a community that has handicapped people.  Some live with cancer, and others are mentally as well as physically challenged.

This is perfect material for Lent.  It is a time when we are encouraged to make little sacrifices for the betterment of humanity.  I do reach out in little ways, trying to help with walking dogs, preparing meals for friends in the community.  However, I don't do enough.

 I am not good about making sacrifices.

I suppose I am too hedonistic. The thought of even camping gives me pause; Ouch!  I have to sleep out in the woods without a bed?  Don't think I can handle that.  Although the idea is mildly appealing at times.

I read about the lives of saints, and it amazes me.  St. Theresa, for example.  I chose her name for my confirmation.  She was said to have prayed to Mary, the mother of Jesus and when she did, the room would be adorned with the fresh, red roses.

Because she had birth issues, she was extremely small, and suffered with illness for most of her short life.  She begged to be accepted as a cloistered nun at a very young age.  She had to get her father's permission and, despite the objections of many the bishop in her native France, he finally agreed.

The story about her life of suffering and sacrificing the "little things" which has been associated with her for centuries.

I am continuing to struggle with the "little things" during lent.  Even in trying to say the rosary, I am distracted about that house I want to buy, or the nagging problem with how much my car repair will cost.

Far from being a saint, I am just a sinner  trying to do better; to be a better person, friend, sister and mother.

Finally, I know I am blessed.  Just because I can't "see" the fruits of my efforts doesn't mean they aren't there.

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