Risk, Reflect, Recreate: Ideas for a Meaningful Lent – And Life

Recently my husband, Scott, and I attended the wedding of a friend.  As the ceremony was coming to a close, the pastor decided to send the couple forth with some powerful words of wisdom.  He shared the results of a study in which men and women, age 90 and older, were asked what they would do differently if they could live their lives over again.  Interestingly, the most popular responses were not regrets held by the individuals polled, wishing they could take back something they’d done.  Instead, the top three replies were actions they wished they would have taken.  First of all, they wished they would have taken more risks, they also wished they would have taken more time to reflect on their lives, and thirdly, they wished they would have taken more time for recreation.  Continue reading “Risk, Reflect, Recreate: Ideas for a Meaningful Lent – And Life”

I’m too old to be this dumb

I am a middle-aged overweight white male.

Mathematics tell me many of the people I work with are closer to my kid’s age than my own.  The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told me a body mass index of greater than 25 means I am overweight.  Human resource sensitivity classes and my vertical jump have taught me that I am indeed white.  Sixteen years of marriage and multiple children have confirmed beyond a reasonable doubt that, indeed, I am a man.

We are called many things.  These labels come from different perspectives, experiences, motives, and occasionally – from truth.  While the truth is what brings us those moments of pure joy, it is also where many of us spend a minority of our time.

The truth is the opening paragraph was mainly a cheap ploy taught by school teachers throughout the ages to grab your attention and get you to read on; and partly a way to get out of my system mid-life feelings that otherwise could come out in the form of stylish jeans, high school lingo, new sports car, or worse……

Back to the real truth.  In a 2013 homily Pope Francis said that holiness is not a privilege for the few, but rather a vocation for everyone.  This is a great, albeit frightening revelation.  If Pope Francis is correct, then this means that holiness is not only possible for us; but it is actually God’s will for us.  It is God’s call to us.  An invitation that we can accept or regretfully decline.   An invitation that we are called to answer one way or another whether we are married, single, or living the consecrated religious life.

Image result for pope francis picture quote vocation

 

National Vocations Awareness Week is November 1-7th, 2015.  While we most definitely need to take the time to pray from the heart for more priests, nuns, and religious; as well as for our existing priests, nuns, and religious – we must genuinely pray for our own call to holiness to be lived more fully.  Pray and sacrifice for your spouse, children, and family to discern their own personal call to holiness and the grace to live it more completely.

The reality is that many of us have made some of our most impactful decisions of long-term consequence when we were the furthest away from God.  Although he was talking to the Pharisees, I’m pretty sure the Lord had me in mind when in Luke 11:40 he calls them out – “You fools!”  The miracle is that any of these decisions made in the past have worked out.

Since God is outside of time, it truly is better late than never to become all that you are called to be, to grow in holiness, and live your personal vocation to the fullest.  If we all answer the call, then the Domestic Church will thrive and there will be no shortage of priests, religious, devoted married, and selfless singles.

Below are a few easy ways to answer the universal call to sainthood:

  • Go to Sacred Heart Church on the first Saturday of the month at 7:45 AM. A Rosary and daily Mass will both be for the intention of vocations on first Saturday’s.
  • Pray and sacrifice for your former, current, and future priests. You get the priest you pray for.

               *Pray and sacrifice for your spouse, children, and loved/not-so-loved ones to grow in       holiness*

  • Check out shoj.org vocations ministry page under pillar of prayer for links to videos and other vocation related resources.

(http://shoj.org/vocations.asp).

Reflections

Dan, thanks for creating this page of resources and letting me have access to it. Lots of great stuff. This Sunday 3/29 reflection question concerning “Jesus Barabbas” and the mystery behind what he did after being released are polar opposites. This is logical considering what he had just witnessed. Likewise, today’s Gospel 3/26 has Jesus calling people “liars.” He also called people “blind guides, fools, frauds” and “whitewashed tombs.” To quote the Laudate reflection for today, Jesus was blunt and was asking for trouble. Like the people of his time, our response should be one of polar opposites. My response is usually one of moderation and lukewarm. While usually a logical strategy to the physical world, what an illogical response to what counts!

 

Scott Kmiecik (April 2015)