Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lent...Keeping Order

All of my well-meaning friends passed along their links to "daily" or "weekly" thoughts for Lent. Of course, I signed up for all of them. Of course, this is also 40 Days for Life and I began OREMUS at our church (I say began because, well, I'm pretty sure that's the first to go)... it's a's too much actually. I'm past the guilt of not getting it all done, which is good, and instead, I'm grateful when I get to sit in the morning and read/pray over some of what comes to my phone/computer. It's kind of amazing to me (ahem) how so many diverse sources point to the same general idea on any given's like God's trying to tell me something!!!

Yesterday the theme was "organize your house/life/heart". Well, yeah. I thought about that for a while as I journeyed from place to place and I realized, as a wise fellow-homeschooler once told me, this "isn't the season" for me to have a house where everything is in place (she was speaking about something else but it fits). It's so much more important, now, for me to order my heart and be a good example to the little ones I've been entrusted to help raise.

Friday around here means Step Up and this being the first Friday of Lent, it also means Stations. I think one of the reasons I love Lent is because we get to go to Stations every Friday. What a blessing to walk with Him on the road to Calvary and stand with St. John and Our Lady at the foot of the Cross. What a perfect way to order your heart and mind.

It's a little hard to work it into the schedule so it's also fun to play "find-the-church-that-has-Stations-between-12-and-12:30". Gratefully, we were able to find one in the Eastern suburbs which meant we were even closer to St. Vincent and didn't have to rush.

Excuse my shaky hand...
What a beautiful little church. It was also another opportunity for education since they had everything (even the baptismal font) covered with purple cloth. We don't have that at our church so it's good to travel to different parishes. Same Stations, always something new to experience!

We had some extra time so we decided to pick up an extra Holy Door along the way...

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Greensburg, PA is a beautiful parish just up the road from St. Vincent. It has the actual "cathedra" front and center and the most beautiful, if unusual, picture of the Last Supper just above the tabernacle (it would have been so lovely if the picture were actually clear! sorry) The last picture is the crest of Bishop Connare, the bishop who Confirmed me many years ago. It was very special to line up the kids and point him out. It was nice to share that moment, reminding them that I also went through all of the things that they will undergo while growing up Catholic since they forget that sometimes!

On to school. What a blustery, cold day. I sat and waited for little man then, after his class, we headed across campus to secure his pre-Mass snack (he chose a warm soft pretzel...smartie). Imagine my joy when we happened to walk behind the Stations as they were passing through campus. (see, God always helps keep you focused if you allow Him the opportunity)
One of the perks of attending a Catholic college!
By now the snow was raging and I was debating whether or not I should pull the kids early to head home. That would have meant missing Mass with my little guy and, just then, it felt like the wrong decision. We headed to the chapel early to light a candle for the Blessed Mother and ask her protection, then stayed for Mass. We made it home safely, if late, because the roads were less-than-stellar but, thanks to God (and His Mother) we all made it in time for fish fry (the Lenten benefits are many!).

As I look around my home I have a mental list of everything I'd like to do and change but for now, my ordering will be mostly spiritual in nature. I hear a constant call to educate, along with my husband, our children about life, the Church, and everything we have been given. Being this blessed means being called to do and be more. I tell them that specifically because I want to help them order their hearts and minds in that manner. God is above all else and worthy of everything we have. The best thing we can do to show Him our love in return is to love His creation, especially those He has placed in our path. More on that tomorrow.

Wishing you warmth. Praying for those who are cold and hungry now. Doing what we can, in our small ways, to help bring some relief and acknowledge how blessed we are in so many ways.

We are so blessed.

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