Blog Post #50: Chaaaaaaaaange
Blog Post #50: Chaaaaaaaaange
Lent | Change | Will of God | Questions | Conformity | Patience | Lenten Journey | Easter
March 15, 2021 by Carol Kurivial
We are just barely past the halfway point of Lent and, in fact, observed that reality over the weekend with Laetare Sunday (“Rejoice”), which makes it reasonable to ask the question, “So, how’s it going?” Lent, that is.
I don’t mean to pry, after all, everyone’s spiritual life is between them and God. But I do think it’s valuable to be accountable for our sacred growth. So while I’m not asking you to disclose the intricacies of your Lenten promises, I do want to remind myself and all of us, that one major goal during Lent is to grow closer to Christ, and that, perhaps, implies change.
You know, like instead of being a complainer, we might voice more appreciation. Instead of being fearful, we might focus more on eternal truths. Or, perhaps, instead of putting others down, we might focus on how Christ dwells in each person. How about, instead of being angry, we might focus on being a more patient person. Anyone feeling a little edgy? If so, hang on tight for my last suggestion....instead of trying to control life, we practice conforming to the will of God?
Now, that’s an interesting thought! But suppose we, like the Saints, got really good (from Lenten practice) at actually conforming to the will of God?
I’ll be honest. That thought didn’t arise out of nowhere. When I went to do my Lenten meditation yesterday, I was too lazy to go upstairs to grab my Lenten-read-basket, so, instead, opened my phone library to a random book I had downloaded awhile back entitled “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence” by Fr. Jean Baptistery Saint-Jure, S.J. and St. Claude de la Colombiere, S.J. I had randomly opened to Chapter III ~ “The Practice of Conformity to the Will of God.”
And can we just say that I got an ed-ja-ma-cation! It is Lent, after all. So, would you like to get an ed-ja-ma-cation too?
We’ll make this easy. I’ll just ask you some questions based on the pages I read:
1. In what things should we practice conformity to the will of God?
2. How well do you put up with all the little daily vexations, such as a word said that wounds our self-esteem, a fly that annoys us, the barking of a dog, knocking into something as we walk along, a small accidental hurt, a pen that won’t write...?
Let’s stop right there for a minute. According to the authors, the answer to the first question is EVERYTHING! And their thoughts about the second question went like this, “In one way it is even more important to practice conformity to God’s will in these small things than in larger ones, both because they are more frequent and because the habit of supporting them in a Christian spirit prepares us in advance and in a natural manner to show resignation when we have to face serious difficulties.”
3. Do you always accept whatever kind of weather God sends without complaint?
4. If you are a mother or a father, when is the last time you considered God, more than yourself, as the parent of your children?
5. Do you accept the will of God in regards to the loss of employment or money and all other setbacks in your temporal affairs with the understanding of Job? (“The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; as it has pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21)
Now I could continue, because, in fact, I did continue for quite a few more pages, but lest we get off track, the whole point of this blog post was to point out that Lent calls us to a change of heart.
I’m not here to tell you what that change should or could be, I’m just suggesting that we all have room for improvement, and I hope I offered you some food for fodder. Because, truth is, Easter is on the horizon, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want a little something more to put in our Father’s Easter basket than chocolate, foil-wrapped, eggs! Maybe try a changed heart...a more grateful spirit...a better focus on eternal truths...a more patient personality...or an improved conformity to the will of God.
Now I’m definitely not God, but I’d bet all the chocolate eggs in the universe that our Heavenly Father would be thrilled with anything resembling that kind of gift!