Sundays in Lent – 3rd Sunday

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​Brought out of slavery, and in exchange given the Ten Commandments to follow. A fresh start for the Israelites, as it were. We are continuously shown how G-d’s mercy is greater than his punishment.

“…the weakness of G-d is stronger than human strength,” and our strength is stronger than our weakness, if only we could see that ourselves and show mercy to ourselves first. We are also each other’s weakness, but we are make up for that by also being each other’s greatest strength. When we fall, we help the other one up.

Today’s Gospel shows us to think first, to curb our anger in favor of deed. John tells us that Jesus “overturned the tables but not in anger.” [Emphasis mine.]

I think sometimes we need to overturn the tables in our own lives.

Our tables get piled with stuff – mail, newspapers, tea cups, grocery lists, bread crumbs. We need to take a moment or two and clear the table until it’s emptied. Take another moment to wash away the dust, brush the bread crumbs into the trash, and look at the potential of the empty table, of where we can go from here.

What tables in your life could use some overturning?

Are there any places you want to start over, begin again?

Take a fresh look and a deep breath.

[Today’s Readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Cor 1:22-25, John 2:13-25]

Sundays in Lent – 2nd Friday

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With his feast day happening yesterday, this second week of Lent brings us to pilgrimage at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales. It is a part of the Church of Wales and its new bishop is the first woman: Canon Joanna Penberthy is the 129th bishop of St. David’s.

Pilgrims have been coming to St. David’s since the 6th century.

Here a few links to ge you started. I really enjoyed the video that I’ve posted lastly.

Virtual Tour of St. David’s Cathedral

What you’ll find at Ty’r Pererin [the Pilgrim’s House] –

March: Blustery, Green, Wet

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​Blustery.

Green.

Wet.

No longer does March come in like a lion and out like a lamb. It is just as likely to come in like a lamb and go out like a a lion. What is happening with our climate and climate changes? Back in 1997, my son was born on March 21st. He had to stay in the hospital for a little less than two weeks, but while he was there, during the first week in April, we had what amounted to a blizzard. In April?

Last week in upstate New York it was seventy degrees. Two days ago it was fourteen. Today it is thirty-five. The sun is shining, the sky is blue after two days of rain, freezing rain and snow. I wear my capri pants year round now.

But despite the wind, the rain, the leftover snow, and of course, mud season, we think of March as green. It really isn’t, but it still has that perception. I think St. Patrick’s Day has a hand in that. We’re also wearing our bright colors before we have to don our duller and sullen Good Friday wear. Even for non-Christians, the feelings are there: attempted brightness and joy until we look outside and see the mud, the carnage in the snow. Right now, my backyard looks like a Bil Keane cartoon.

(c)2018


Courtesy of The Comic Journal, 2011. (c)Bil Keane, Jeff Keane, 2018


But after a couple of weeks of forgetting that February is over, and with the wind dying down, we plan our gardens, we don our green apparel, we prepare our palms and our matzo, and at the end of our holidays and feasts and prayers, we remember that spring always follows winter, and in twenty more days, we will have spring and I will have a twenty-one year old.

The climate may change, and we need to change with it, but the seasons will set their own agenda, and they will arrive like clockwork.

Blustery to green in twenty-one days.

Sundays in Lent – 2nd Thursday

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Hapus Sant Dewi Dydd

Translation: Do the little things in life. Quotation from St. David. Art, mine. (c)2018

Be joyful.

Keep the faith.

Do the little things.

Contemplate on the words of St. David and a small thing I drew on his feast day. Three simple suggestions, easily done, yet greatly appreciated.

Sundays in Lent – 2nd Wednesday

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The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Jeremiah 18:18-20

Read the above Scripture from Jeremiah. Can you think of a time when you stood up for someone in your life only to have to ask them to defend you later? Jeremiah didn’t speak up for G-d as a pre-payment for Him to rescue him later, but he does remind G-d that he was there for G-d and these people who have turned against him.

Find something in the above passage to journal on, whether it be service to G-d, friendship, betrayal, or anything that comes to your mind.

Sundays in Lent – 2nd Tuesday

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“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;

but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Matt 23:12

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Meditate on this.

How do you pray?

Public or private?

I think for most of us it’s a combination of both – not intentionally bragging about our prayer life, but we wear our religious symbols, religious clothes, headgear, we pray in communion. There is a rosary group at my church that meets daily after the mass to pray the rosary. Many of them go home and pray the rosary in private as well.

How can we balance the communion and community of religion without being hypocrites and/or showing off our supposed or perceived piety?

Mental Health Monday – Keeping a Journal

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Living with mental illness or mental health issues or as I like to refer to it, recovery lends itself to keeping a journal. You don’t need to be a “real” writer to keep a journal. My kids all keep notebooks of some kind, and I’ve kept travel journals for trips and retreat/spiritual journals. I’m about to embark on my second Lent journal.
There are also so many options out there for any style of journal-keeping, whether longhand, calendar diary, record-keeping, bullet points, or sketching. Or you can dabble in all kinds, both to keep it fresh but also to experiment and see which type suits you better. I do several types all in the same physical book.

Pinterest is a great place to find and explore the varieties of journal styles that are out there as well as discovering journaling prompts to help you along. We can all use a little push now and then.

You can buy premade journals for specific areas or fancy blank journals or create your own with a small three-ring binder. These can be found online at Staples, Target and online as well as local boutique shops.

The possibilities are nearly endless.

Types of Journals

BulletBujo (this is a brand and a style), Dear Diary, Travel, Sketchbook, Prayer, Memoir, I even have a writer’s planner journal

Evernote is a good way to keep a journal digitally.

Things to Record:

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