Thursday, February 14, 2013

Getting my ash in gear...

Yesterday’s Ash Wednesday Liturgy at Presentation High School was a beautiful thing. Eight hundred young women in formal dress uniform exuberantly singing an old Protestant hymn, Amazing Grace. The gym was filled to capacity- standing room only. The homily was delivered by a woman- our own resident bible scholar, Claire Foley. Peer ministers doused their fellow students with ashes. A slide show highlighted one of our Sisters of Presentation, Sr. Rachel Pinal, who works as a missionary in Somotillo, Nicaragua. The liturgy kicked off our Mission Drive month, raising money to support our Sisters of Presentation working for peace and justice in South America.

No wonder Pope Benedict is resigning. This old church ain’t what it used to be!

However, in the faculty room over lunch one would never have known that we have progressed this far as Catholics. People were still talking about “giving something up” for Lent. I assumed we were a more enlightened and progressive Catholic faculty. Is it really that simple?

During Lent, the forty days and forty nights culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we are called to conversion, reconciliation, mercy, grace, self reflection and humility. How do you get there by giving up candy?

I’m just sayin’….

But the most amusing thing for me as the Senior Class Counselor was one of my naughtiest students carefully tracing a cross of ashes on my forehead and advising me to “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.

Oh Lordy..

My life is plaid.

5 Responses

  1. Oh, Rosemarie, I love this post! I laughed out loud at some of the things you said. Giving up candy won’t do it, eh? How ’bout Snickers bars? Red vines? Reese’s peanut butter cups? Oh my! You are so right in what you say. Why does Lent have to be about “giving up something?” Brendan shared with me several years ago four words that guide his life: “Be Christ, see Christ.” The simple invitation covers life from birth to death and everything in between. It’s Life; it’s Lent; it’s Love. It’s a positive summons. In our fractured world, so full of frenetic folly, those four words clear the fog. Thank you for your post; it made my day, especially since I, too, just came from a world of plaid! I need a Latté, a good book, and maybe a Snickers bar!

    • Kathy, who would have predicted that our children would inspire us so much! Can I use Brendan’s four words for a blog? Truly a beautiful mantra…

      How wonderful that we have reconnected, my friend! Plaid all the way around! :)

  2. Of course you may use Brendan’s mantra, Rosemarie. Those words were inspired by the Servite Formation Program. How blessed we are that our children are sharing so much with us. Never in a million years did I envision their future insights, commitment, and faith-in-action when we were all gleefully gazing at soggy mud oozing in the backyard “construction site” on its way to 8-lane, kid-built, dirt highways, courtesy of Tonka trucks and garden shovels. Even several bedtime reads of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs didn’t alert me to the future! Somehow, I thought our children would stay young forever. Hmmm. I, too, am so very glad that we’ve reconnected, Rosemarie. Yep, plaid has come full circle and then some! :)

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