Parish Blog

Remembering the lessons of life’s journey

In elementary school, attending the Stations of the Cross became my favorite part of Lent because Mass at that time felt like a routine -- similar to brushing my teeth or shampooing my hair. I’ve got to do it, but it’s not exactly the most enjoyable part of the day.

But during Lent, things felt differently, more somber and less routine. And, even as a child I enjoyed a good story. Fast-forward to present day and I understand the Stations of the Cross a lot better than my elementary school self did. But I still sometimes struggle with how it relates to my own life -- how it’s more than a story.

One recent morning as I was lamenting to myself about all the troubles and trials I’ve been dealing with these last few years (Ignorantly thinking that no one else could possibly be going through what I’m going through), I forced myself to ask:

Who the heck do I think I am?

Why wouldn’t I have to deal with daily challenges?

If God’s own Son went through challenges, why shouldn’t I have to deal with a life filled with ups and downs? Now that didn’t necessarily make me feel better and in no way am I on par with Jesus, but it was a “slap me in the face” kind of thought.

We all carry crosses in our lives -- whether it be losing a loved one to violence, battling a chronic illness, losing a job, finding out a friend isn’t a friend, not being able to find love, the list goes on and on. Life is tough every single day, but we must recognize that God gives us the strength to keep going.

And, there are also glimmers of hope as when Veronica wiped Jesus’ face or when Jesus found the strength to get up each time he fell. Kindness exists in our lives. It could be someone who gives up their seat for us on the bus because our arms are full or that friend who randomly checks in with a quick text or call. Those acts of kindness from our neighbors give us the strength to stand up, dust ourselves off, wipe away our tears and start again down life’s path.

For me, Lent is about:

●      Refocusing my mindset so that I remember that I’m not alone -- we all have crosses we must carry. It’s about how we handle each of those crosses that defines us and makes us stronger; and

●      Remembering that I must be the woman who wipes Jesus’ brow. I must be the person who sends the kind text or gives up my seat. I must help my neighbors with empathy and kindness.

Lent reminds me to embrace the journey and be there for others when their crosses get too heavy. The Stations of the Cross are more than a story told at Lent, but instead a road map for how to deal with life’s challenges.

 

Olivia Silver is a former journalist and current communication specialist who handles media relations for a law firm. She volunteers at St. Columbanus by assisting with communications projects. Her Twitter handles: @OliviaSilver and @OliviaClarke312.

Who Are You Talking About?

I spend a lot of time talking, and you probably do as well! We talk at work, in the classroom, as we drive, while we wait, and when we sit in the pews. Sometimes our talking is positive, and sometimes our talking is gossip. As Christian disciples, we are called to talk about Jesus Christ- all the time! We must proclaim Jesus to every person we encounter. This proclamation happens through the words we speak, and the actions we perform.
Every person needs to be evangelized or re-evangelized. Some have never heard of Jesus and some have ignored his voice in their life. All Christians are called to be evangelizers; everyone washed in the waters of Baptism are made new, and put on the mind of Christ. Therefore, all have a role to play in building up the Kingdom of God and participating in the mission of Jesus Christ. There must be a renewal of efforts for evangelization in individuals and churches across this country. Evangelizing may not be easy, but the Holy Spirit is the one really operating in all of our efforts—that is, if we are open to the influence of the Spirit and cooperate in God's divine plan. The work of evangelization is the work of the Trinity—it is about bringing souls to the Father, continuing the mission of the Son, and cooperating with the Holy Spirit. The ministry of evangelization is about building communio (community), and there is no better example of this than the Trinity.
So, who are you talking about? If you're not talking about Jesus, you're not doing your work as a disciple! Spend some time this week telling others about Jesus!

-Fr. Matt, Pastor