Friday, March 24, 2006

lenten halftime huddle

{warning...long, wordy post ahead}

hard to believe that lent is halfway through. three weeks from yesterday, we enter triduum.

so much has happened in the past few weeks. i prayed for answers to some questions and challenges that were on my heart. as always, God honored those requests, and challenged me to grow in finding the answers that i searched for.

i found myself on the bellarmine encounter, sitting in front of the blessed sacrament and finding an incredible peace in my heart, which had been there all along. i just covered it with my typical type-a control freak personality, telling God how my life should be, as opposed to discerning what His will is for me.

this week, i've been challenged in my "giving up unhappy words". there have been a few particular individuals who have caused me to use the phrase, "i just want to punch them in the face". while, technically, not gossip or swearing, as it was a fact that i wanted to punch them, i violated the spirit of the my lenten metanoia. why was i so mad?

it was reading the following passage in benedict groeschel's book, stumbling blocks or stepping stones, that things started to come together.

"Pride sneaks down into the bottom of our soul. It makes us believe that we are
something more than a creature. Pride makes us demand the things that are God's.
It says, 'I will not serve,' or, 'I will serve, but only under these circumstances,' or, 'I am willing to do everything you want, God, but could I make a suggestion? I'll carry the cross, but preferably something with wheels on one end, and a nice little shoulder pad.'"
so many of us, myself included, occasionally live in the mirror room, where everything is focused on us. if things don't make us happy, or the attention is not on us or what we do, then there's hurt, frustration or jealousy. pride, as fr. groeschel says, is at the root of this. when our pride gets hurt or damaged, we respond back instinctively and want to hurt back.

on the other hand, if we live into the window room, where we look out and see others instead of ourselves, it automatically changes our focus. over time, we become more selfless and less selfish. and ultimately, if we look deeply into others, we see the face of Christ. in every person we meet. as father corapi said the other night at our girls group, if you can't see His face, it's because He is wounded by how He's (and the person you're looking at) has been treated. and it's our obligation to treat each person as we would Christ.

when reading through blogrolls of people who link to viper's world (whoo hoo!), i came across a very cool post by mark mossa, sj. it's entitled the messy road to sainthood, about st. ignatius.

it discusses all of ignatius's shortcomings...being foolish, prideful, having control issues, being desperate and afraid, being a failure. and the Lord brought great things from Him. {his post is definitely worth a read.}

it brings things all together for me. that in my life, amidst my shortcomings and failings, that God's will for me is far beyond anything i could ever imagine. being able to surrender to that will (releasing my own plans), to focus on how to serve and how to love, and to move to the window room, will give me a true joy and lasting hope.

and a quote from the final line...

if this foolish, prideful, ridiculous and sickly man was able to do such great things for God, ignatius seems to be saying, maybe we can too!
three weeks to go!

{ps...good thing i'm working on my pride, after i picked gonzaga to go all the way, and they lost in the heartbreaker last night.}


Amy said...

Shelley Mauss, have I ever told you how wonderful you are? Well you are...this is a really good post and made me think about things in my own life. Thanks again! See you tomorrow. :)

Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Nice, thoughtful post.

And why, oh why, is Gonzaga always breaking our hearts!

I picked them to go all the way a few years ago, and they lost in the first round!

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