G-d is the G-d of second chances—or third or fourth or as many as we need.
This Lent, stop kicking yourself. Move on and make the best of today.
Lord, I make no excuses for my past, but I don’t want to be bound by it either. Lord, set me free to move on.
(Connery, Fr. Thomas (2012-12-09). Traveling Light – Spirited Reflections and Prayers for the Days of Lent (Kindle Locations 656-657). Creative Communications for the Parish. Kindle Edition.)
John 8:11 – Neither do I condemn you.
Communion Antiphon –
Has no one condemned you, woman? No one, Lord.
Neither shall I condemn you. From now on, sin no more.
In the meditation (from The Word Among Us publication for March 17, 2013), we are reminded, “Jesus knows our sins far better than anyone else, even better than we know them. Still, he refuses to condemn us. It doesn’t move him one bit when others try to remind him (or us) of our failings.”
As most of you know, this is my first Lent. Since it is my first time, I’ve gone to several people in order to both do it right and make it meaningful for me. I was told that the act of giving something up isn’t simply to suffer, but to trade something that we enjoy and think we can’t live without for G-d and Faith and what is really important to us.
For me, I’ve been talking about writing and writing since I was a little kid. Some of it is bad. Some of it is so good I can’t believe I write it. One of the things the Internet has given me is a platform. A platform to share, to get feedback, to meet people and to share my thoughts, my feelings and to thank the people who help me on a daily basis. I try to do that, and in the last year, I am a better person and I am grateful for that, to G-d, to the friends who’ve stood with me and supported me and shown me what true friendship is as I now find my true faith.
What I had decided to do in addition to giving something meaningful up, I added a few things into my life. I was asked the other day about how giving up my diet soda and favorite scone treat was going, and I admitted rather reluctantly that it was going surprisingly easy; easier than I expected. I’ve missed neither except for a couple of times that I wanted a soda and then reminded myself why I wasn’t drinking them, and I was fine.
I did go from 5-6 12oz. cans of diet Coke a day to ZERO. Cold turkey. I replaced it with green tea in the morning and water throughout the day with very occasional visits to Starbucks.
I attend the daily Mass three days a week and I’ve been trying to attend Sunday Mass (which I will continue for the next two Sundays).
I had a chance with Lent to remind myself of my New Year’s resolutions, one of which was to increase and be more consistent in my writings of all subjects: fan fiction, non-fiction, memoir, my spiritual journey of the last year and anything else that springs to my mind. I’ve certainly been better than last year, but I still need work, and so for Lent, one of the things that I promised myself was to do more writing, ideally on a daily basis: one faith based writing and one writing about anything else.
Unfortunately that hasn’t happened as easily as I would have liked and last week brought my second bout of a deeper depression than I’ve experienced since I’ve been on the medication. I know it’s a recovery process and there will be times like this, but it’s not easy and I’m still not out of last week’s; there is a mound to climb over and with my friend’s birthday looming (I’ll write more about her on Tuesday), it is just not an easy week.
They’re not for everyone, but I stick to my rituals and they help. I get up in the morning and I have my ‘kindle things’. I check the free app of the day because Free is Good. I check the overnight onslaught of Tumblr, which is usually good for a few smiles. I check my Facebook. Even if I don’t do anything else in the daily routine, I do those and I read two things: the day’s Scripture/Mass from The Word Among Us and the day’s entry in Traveling Light by Father Thomas Connery, which is a book of reflections and prayers to be read during Lent. My church gave these out with a small cross at the beginning of the Lenten season.
These five things are an always for me. They set my day. Some days, the scripture readings are just readings, the next day in a succession in the life and teachings of Jesus, and a reminder to stay on your path, but some days (remarkably more often than not), they speak very specifically to something I’ve been dealing with, something I’ve been praying on, something I need counsel for, and somehow, despite all of the belief and the comfort, I am still surprised when G-d knows exactly what I need and when I need to hear it.
Today was one of those mornings.