Tag Archives: Jesus


Lent starts today.                          

In my church, this means lots of things.  There are lists of what you should do, how you should eat, and ways you should pray.  There are times you should go to church (many!) and times you should go to reconciliation.  The entire Lenten season should revolve around Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. 

Are you tired yet?

Every year I start Lent the same way I start the New Year.  With plans, with resolutions, with thoughts of how “good” I’m going to be.  Being “good” during Lent sometimes means being somber and quiet (and hungry!).  We “give up” something and we give by performing one of the Corporal Works of Mercy which include but are not limited to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the sick, and visiting the imprisoned.

These rituals and customs are beautiful.  They are steeped in history and scripture and they are a vital part of our own personal transformations.  However, I need to simplify this whole thing for myself this year. 

I read a daily reflection today that I want to share with you.  www.TheSpiritToday.com  This reflection gave me an idea. 

Maybe Jesus is asking us to let him into our desert.  We are asked to join him on his journey and he so desperately wants to be invited to join us on our journeys. 

I remember once when I was young a teacher asked me how I would behave at the dinner table if Jesus came to dinner.  What would I ask Him?  How would I act differently?  

This can be a fun, exciting question or it can instill fear in your heart!  Would He care if I can’t cook?  Would He think my kids are too messy?  Would He see the crumbs on the floor? Would He know our addictions and struggles?  Would He see all the ways we are not measuring up?  Would He see our fears and our doubts and our worries?

I can picture it now.  After the initial stage of awe and silence, He would say something funny to put us at ease.  He would tell stories and be kind to the children.  He would ask me to sit down and relax and be at peace.  We would pray together and share a meal and we would thank Him.  We would ask questions and He would guide us and forgive us. 

Doesn’t that sound nice? 

In order for us to understand Him, we join Him on his journey through the desert during Lent.  In order for Him to understand us, we ask Him to join us on our journeys, in our deserts, all the time.  

So this Lent, I’ll be inviting Him in.  Into my home (mess and noise included) and into my heart (mess and noise included).  I hope you do too…then we all will be truly transformed.

One minute

You know when something happens and you forget about everything else to focus on that one thing?  It could be bad news, like someone is sick or a child has an emergency or you yourself have a medical crisis or a host of other things.  Or, it could be something happy like you just found out you are expecting a baby, you have to give a speech, or you’ve won the lottery (don’t we all wish?). 

Well, the point is, for a period of time, your attention is laser focused.  You have the ability to shut all else out and focus on this one thing.  It’s amazing how our minds work. 

But usually, we are not in this state.  I know that I am usually trying to do many things and not doing any one thing 100%.  I mean, how much have we heard lately about people texting while driving! Scary!

I think this is what Jesus was referring to when he said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.           –Luke 10:27

We shouldn’t love God the way we tend to listen to the kids; half listening, half writing lists.  I heard a quote from a child that said, “Mommy, I want you to listen to me” and the mom said, “Oh honey, I’m listening” and the child said, “I want you to listen with your eyes.”

We shouldn’t love God sort of, sometimes, when it’s convenient.  We should always love Him.  We should be present for Him, pay attention, stop multitasking to thank Him.


Who has time with Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, MySpace…the internet can be like the black hole for me.  I sit down for a “minute” and two hours later I’m still sitting there.  So that means I actually do have time to pray, read the Bible, go to church, whatever it is but I’d rather change my profile picture on Facebook????

I go for days being busy and wrapped up and hurried and then something makes me stop and think.  When I’m aware, I see how ridiculous this is but I keep doing it.  It’s kind of like food.  I mean, seriously, after Halloween, I was acting like I’ll never see another miniature candy bar again so I should hurry up and eat them ALL!  Even when I’m eating I’m hurrying…I’m not sure if that’s so no one sees me stealing their candy or if it’s because I know if I stop and bring awareness to what I’m doing, I’ll have to change. 

I remember learning about “soft addictions”.  These are things that you may be “addicted” to that don’t necessarily hurt you physically or cause harm to your family as drugs or alcohol may do but they steal your time, your attention, your mind.  They keep you from being aware.  They are an escape – a way of self medicating.  Some of these things may be (but are not limited to) over shopping, over eating, procrastinating, watching too much TV.  These things can keep us from living the life we were meant to live. 

So, here’s the challenge –let’s do this together.  I know I need it so maybe it could benefit all of us.  Put down the Diet Coke, the Starbucks, the water bottle…do NOT have food anywhere near you…put the cell phone away where you cannot hear the little “dings”…ARE YOU STARTING TO TWITCH?…Do not pick up any reading material…there should be no sounds (tv, radio, music) …now, when you are done reading this, turn off the computer…power down… No, actually turn it off…you can do it.  Now, for one minute, close your eyes, be still.  Just one minute.  You can do it.  It’s a start.  Ready?

Now I Understand

My friend’s Dad died today. 

It makes you think.

Yes, he had a long, wonderful life.  Yes, he had children and grandchildren and lived to enjoy them.  Yes, he had a happy marriage and a good job and he was a good person.  Yes, my friend should be pleased that he showed love and gratitude and took care of his Dad.  He’s a good son. 

 None of this changes the fact that his Dad is gone. 

No reassurance, no offer of condolence, no acknowledgement of a life well lived will bring him back.  He is gone. 

How brief it seems he was here. 

I remember complaining once to my mom about the days going slow when I had babies and diapers and chaos.  She said, “The days go by slow but the years go by fast.”  Now I understand.   

My dad once said, “You wake up one day and you’re 50”.  That seemed so far off for me, I just shrugged and went about my business.  Now I understand. 

Maybe it’s like this for everyone.  All the things our parents told us start to make sense.  We too, say things like “Don’t wish it away…”

This is good news in a way.  Maybe all the things we’ve been told end up making sense to us.  I like to think this is true about the things we are told about God and the afterlife.  I picture my friend’s Dad, when he got up to Heaven laughing as he saw St. Peter at the gate thinking, “Really, you are here?”…the gate is open…Jesus is there too, waiting, ready, welcoming him home. 

I can almost hear him saying, “Now I understand.” 

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
In my Father’s house there are many mansions: 
If it were not so, I would have told you. 
I go to prepare a place for you. 
-John 14:1-2