Tuesday, March 11, 2014

silence

Our world is noisy - from our phones and iPods to all of our chatter over social media and other means. We have a need, it seems, to be constantly connected to one another, to the Internet, to Facebook, to whatever. 

While I would be hard pressed to give up my iPhone, and I enjoy my fair share of social media, texting, blogging, email, and all of these things, I have to admit to a love/hate relationship with them. Maybe you can relate. Although I appreciate the benefits of modern communications, I am often the person in my circle of friends who doesn't answer the phone, or misses text messages - because I left my phone on silent, or in another room. Oftentimes, I've unintentionally forgotten to turn the ringer back on - this is true. However, it's also true that I will sometimes leave my phone in "solitary confinement," neglecting it for hours at a time, just to disconnect.

Silence is important, particularly in a world addicted to noise - in my opinion, "noise" can encompass what we hear, read, and see - as we are almost constantly bombarded with sensory messages. All that noise may keep us connected to the world, but it can also distract us from thinking about things in our lives, and it can stifle our relationship with God, who doesn't always speak in loud or obvious ways. Scripture offers a great reminder of this in 1 Kings 19, where Elijah waits for the Lord to pass by - through wind and earthquake and fire; and when He does finally pass by, it is in the silence after all these other noisy things have happened. Silence is a powerful catalyst for conversing with God.

As much as we need our connections to each other, and as important as those connections are, we need silence. We need to unplug. Go off the grid. Observe radio silence. Find God in the quiet. Pray.

"Why should we pray? Well, why breathe? We have to take in fresh air and get rid of bad air; we have to take in new power and get rid of our old weaknesses. Just as a battery sometimes runs down and needs to be charged, so we have to be renewed in spiritual vigor. Our Blessed Lord said: 'Without me you can do nothing.' Oh yes, we can eat and drink, and we can sin but we cannot do anything toward our supernatural merit and heaven without Him." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Thursday, March 6, 2014

a prayer for Lent

Most high, glorious God, 
illumine the darkness of my heart, 
and give me, Lord, 
true faith, 
certain hope, 
perfect charity, 
and profound humility. 
Grant me, O Lord, 
sense and wisdom 
to fulfill your true and holy will. 
Amen. 

-St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday - that wonderful day of the year when some of us starve ourselves, and maybe run around with ashes on our foreheads - that might be shaped like a cross, depending on whose thumb put them there - and which may or may not end up falling into your eyes, onto your clothes, etc. Good times, these. 

I feel the need for an Ash Wednesday-themed "most interesting man in the world" meme, that would go something like this: "I don't always go to Mass on Ash Wednesday, but when I do... ..." 

Oh, well thanks, Google (and whomever came up with this, it is apparently from diylol.com):


#ashwednesdayproblems  +:-)

I saw a great quote on Facebook this evening from Fr. Reginald Martin, O.P.: "If these ashes aren't going to find a place on our inside, we really don't have much business wearing them on the outside." 

How true. Will the manner in which we live this Lent show that the ashes we received today have found "a place on our inside"? Will this Lent - a word which means "springtime" - be a catalyst for spring-like renewal and new growth in our lives - in our walk with Christ, in our pursuit of self-mastery, in whatever good work we set out to do, beginning today?

"Behold, I make all things new."