Sunday, February 28, 2010

2nd Sunday of Lent: Depravity

Two popular questions abound this time of year for me:

1. "What did you give up for Lent?"
2. "Why would you want to give something up for Lent?"
3. "What the heck is Lent?"

This Lent, I gave up Facebook. I look at that and realize how amazingly petty it seems, but it is also amazing how much that website is intertwined with my life. Being without Facebook has disconnected me from a lot of people, but I do believe it is good for me.

I have chosen to sacrifice something I enjoy in my daily life for 40 days, not just because it is customary for Catholics to do so, but because it draws me nearer to God! (Well, that's actually the reason why it is a Catholic custom.)

A popular misconception among non-Catholics about this practice of self-deprivation is that it somehow gains us more "points" with God or makes Him love us more. This is most certainly a dangerous and damaging misconception.

Giving up an activity or a particular thing that we enjoy serves to turn our eyes toward God. Anytime we feel a desire for that particular thing, we think of God! Resisting the temptation to engage in that activity that we enjoy trains us to turn our eyes toward God when other temptations arise - including temptations that may be sinful. This is a most appropriate training to undergo in Lent, when we are constantly mindful of our depravity and look toward the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord as our only hope.

A more important question, perhaps, is
"What are you doing to grow closer to God this Lent?"
This is what Lent is about, after all!
This Lent, I am doing the main prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours - Lauds, Vespers, and Compline, every day, as well as reading a couple devotional books.

Lauds - Known as "Morning Prayer," is the very first thing I do when I open my eyes in the morning. It serves to praise God for the new day, to consecrate the day to the Lord, and affirm my desire to do His work.
Vespers - Known as "Evening Prayer," is said in the late afternoon or evening. It serves to re-focus my eyes on God as the day winds down.
Compline - Known as "Night Prayer," is the last thing I do before lying down for bed. It is a time for reflection on the day - where I did God's work and where I turned away from God - and a time to ask God to be with me through the night. This is an especially comforting prayer.

In short, Lent is a time to put special focus on growing closer to God, increasing our desire to do his will throughout the year. This is always a good thing.

"Lord our God, you formed man from the clay of the earth and breathed into him the spirit of life, but he turned from your face and sinned. In this time of repentance we call out for your mercy. Bring us back to you and to the life your son won for us by his death on the cross, for he lives and reigns for ever and ever."

-Concluding prayer from today's Morning Prayer

Saturday, February 27, 2010


You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.

--Max Lucado

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When I am empty, You fill me up

I've been reading a daily devotional book that a sweet lady from church, Lucille, gave to me, written by Henri Nouwen. Some of today's thoughts especially hit home:

Interruptions are not disruptions of your way to holiness, but rather are places where you are being formed into the unique person God calls you to be...You are living a grateful life when something is taken away from you that you thought was so important and find yourself willing to say, "Maybe I'm being invited to a deeper way of living."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

1st Sunday of Lent

So, I've started another blog. I'll try not to be too verbose. I've had my other blog, The Minorcan Factor, for over three years now, but decided a second one would be beneficial. As the title may suggest, this blog is to focus on my spiritual life, an area that has seen a lot of growth over the past year.

In case you're wondering, the phrase Omnes hones et goriae est means All glory and honor is His.

A nice phrase to be sure; it's a p
araphrase of one of my favorite prayers, in fact. As nice as it sounds, though, it can be really tough to apply that to my everyday life. I hope to show you why in my writings.

I have started this blog to share my the thoughts. It seems that, over the past few months, I have been gifted with many thoughts that I would like to write down and share. This has directly correlated with an increase in prayer and meditation on Scripture.

Today is the first Sunday of Lent, a time of renewal and re-consecration of our spirit to God. I see this journal as a way of helping me do that. I hope whoever may read this can take some kind of comfort in my words...Or can share in the failures and sins that I commit daily. Join me!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.