Sundays in Lent – 5th Sunday

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​All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Jer 31:34

I enjoy finding verses that put us all on equal footing. We can say that we’re all the same until we’re  blue in the face, but until we can read it in black and white I fear that some will not believe it.

The verse perfectly encapsulates that feeling.

All.

From least to greatest.

All shall know me.

I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

I have just come from reconciliation. I try to go once a season, more if there is something significant happening in my life – traveling, going on retreat, teaching a class. My church does a Lenten Penance Service for the parishioners together. You still have the privacy of the confessional, but your penance is said together. There’s music. I find it a very nice way of bringing the community together. Unfortunately, we had a snowstorm on that evening so I wasn’t able to attend, but I was able to make the time today, a week before my retreat, two weeks before Easter to go to reconciliation.

When I went in it didn’t feel like much, but it was the first time that I remembered my act of contrition card (I don’t have it memorized yet.) It was the first time that I made the sign of the cross and said, “bless me father for I have sinned.” It was the first time that I stated when my last confession was without being prompted. It was the first time I didn’t umm through my sins or wrongdoing.

It was the first time it felt normal-ish.

Remember their sin no more.

I go in, close the door, state my sins, talk, receive penance, and then I’m absolved. I don’t have to worry about G-d bringing it up like an ex might continue to remind you of that time you whatevered twenty years ago and that’s why you’re not married now. I also don’t have to worry about my priest remembering. I’m absolved, and it’s gone for both of us. All of us who seek reconciliation.

G-d doesn’t hold anything against us, and we should learn from that to not hold things against ourselves. Once we’re forgiven in the confessional, we should let it go and not feel guilty or bad about it any longer.

On this fifth Sunday of Lent, don’t forget your responsibilities for the Lenten season. Have you gone to reconciliation? Have you stuck by what you’ve given up or abstained from? Have you prayed more? Is there a special devotion that you like to pray to? Mine is Mary, untier of knots. Lent continues for another two weeks. There is still time to find your way. Each day is a new beginning. It’s not too late to start.

Sundays in Lent – 4th Saturday

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Blessed be
the grass beneath my feet,
the sky above my head,
the air in my lungs,
the wind at my back,
the scent of incense,
and the sight of its rising.

Confess as Patrick
Share Christ’s voice as Columba
Spread my cloak across the land as Brigid
Teach and write as Finbarr, Aidan, and Bede
Navigate the way as Brendan

Blessed be
the shelter, the sustenance, the faith.
Follow.
Be present.
Be open.

Blessed be we.

Sundays in Lent – 4th Friday

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A pilgrimage is one of those things that is encouraged throughout most religions. Each Friday I’ve been trying to offer you a virtual tour of places to take time to visit and meditate and pray on.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Armagh

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Dublin

St. Patrick’s Cathedral – New York City

Down Cathedral and St. Patrick’s gravesite (more of an exterior tour) – Downpatrick

Sundays in Lent – 4th Thursday

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With his feast day approaching in two days, I thought I’d share two photo collages of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland and the adjacent park named forr him where one of the wells attributed to him is commemorated with an engraved stone.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. (c)2018

St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Park, Dublin, Ireland. (c)2018

Sundays in Lent – 4th Tuesday

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Reading: John 5:1-16

“Do you want to be well?”

“Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”

When I began visiting church I hadn’t realized that it was during Lent. I had a vague notion since it was right before Easter, but I wasn’t marking my days by the litrugical calendar as I do now.
One of the things I really love about history is that it’s historical. It happened. And for religious history, being Jewish, not only did it happen there, but it happened first. I’ve always been enthralled by my connection to the chosen people.

I remember reading for the first time about the discovery of the five porticos and how it was the place – the pool of Bethesda. I didn’t know the significance, but whatever had happened, happened there, and there existed.

I wasn’t told in words to take up my mat, but when I felt the words’ meaning, I was changed.

Read about the pool and the history. What are your meditations on this place, and your own healing?

Sundays in Lent – 4th Monday

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​I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued men

Psalm 30

This was one of the random Scriptures that greeted me in one of my first visits to the church. I just wandered in. I was not attending mass yet. I also had no intention to at that time. I was in crisis and distress and loved for nothing but quiet. I found that in the empty pews. But I also found a Roman Missal that I would randomly thumb through and sit and read a verse. Every one of those, chosen by chance, had specific meaning for my life. They didn’t speak to me metaphorically but literally. How could these thousand-plus year old words and phrases be so spectacularly, so intensely, so specific-to-my-life relevant?