2nd Sunday in Lent

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One of the goals of Lent is to look back and look forward; to see what’s changed and what needs changing. I’ve discovered that one of those ways to to re-read some of the more directional Scriptures; put them in the context of where I am today. The Scriptures may not change, but I will always, and the reminder in different times is just enough to propel me forward and setting new goals, both earthly and spiritual.

Sometimes, we all need a little direction, and from the moment​ I began to sit in on masses, the readings spoke to me in tangible ways. There’s no reason to think that would change.

In additon to love thy neighbor and lay down one’s life for a friend, the Beatitudes are a step-by-step guide to the good works, tangible things that can be done by anyone, in any order, at any time.

Recently, Pope Francis added a few more to guide us in the modern world, saying that “new situations require new energy and a new commitment.” I will include them at the end.
Matthew 5:2-12

He began to teach them, saying: The Beatitudes*
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Pope Francis’ addition on 11/1/16: New Beatitudes for Saints of a New Age

Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.

Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.

Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.

Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.

Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.

Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

“All these are messengers of God’s mercy and tenderness,” Pope Francis said. “Surely they will receive from him their merited reward.”

Project Rock and The Rock Clock

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On Facebook, I’ve been following Dwayne Johnson, known from his wrestling days as The Rock, for maybe a year now. I enjoy his upbeat, positive, motivational view of life. He is one of the most encouraging people I have ever had the pleasure to see even if it’s only been on social media and through his acting roles.

I loved him in the Escape to Witch Mountain reboot. That was my favorite book and movie as a child, and if the original pops up on the television, I will sit and watch it again no matter what else I’m supposed to be doing.

The most recent movie I’ve seen was The Game Plan on the Disney channel. I don’t know when the movie was actually released, but it was recently re-aired on one of the Friday nights in the last couple of weeks.

Following his Facebook, I get to see posts about his new baby daughter, Jasmine, his upcoming Disney animated feature, Moana, still in production (with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda), and most recently his Rock Clock.

I hadn’t realized that The Rock Clock was part of a new venture called Project Rock.

I’ve been using the Rock Clock for about a week now. All in all, I like it, although I need to adjust the volume, and it doesn’t have a snooze button. The Rock doesn’t believe in a snooze button. I actually do, but I’ve been adapting to give it a try.

If you like, you can even get up on Rock Time, but I’ll warn you: that’s about 4 or 5 in the morning. I have not attempted it and don’t plan to.

After you get up and at it, whatever time you’ve set the alarm for, there is a daily inspirational message from The Rock. I’ve seen two that he filmed in the gym right before his workout, one driving to work in his pick-up truck (he loves his pick-up truck), and one still picture with a motivational phrase as a graphic.

I have to say there are worse ways to wake up. Even if I’m tired, and I don’t really want to get up, I still get a positive vibe from the app, and from The Rock.

I know that whatever time it is that I’m viewing his daily message, I will see his smiling face, his positive outlook, and hear the joy in his voice to begin another day.

It rubs off.

In this morning’s message, he dropped whatever he was carrying. He laughed it off, kept walking and narrated that he was going to keep walking. What a great message to keep moving forward no matter what tries to get in your way. He even mentioned that he had to clean up the spill, but the smile didn’t leave his face.

One word of caution: his language is on the adult side. He is uncensored, but there’s no bullying, no denigration, just pure and honest, and unadulterated happy to be alive, and happy to share his day with you.

There are twenty-four options for your alarm sound; I use the one of him singing Good Morning, Sunshine. I’ve also tried the regular beeping alarm, which he also voices.

Here is what he has to say on his home page of the Project Rock website:

WE ARE ALL A PROJECT.

We all have hopes, goals, dreams and aspirations, and I’ve officially made it my project to help as many of you get after your goals as possible. Let’s get after it and chase greatness… together.

-Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson