Friday, February 19, 2010

How is your Lent so far?

We had a rough start... Marie had a stomach bug. God bless her, though... she is a real trouper, and never complained once. Thomas, Grace, Sean, and Christopher all mentioned feeling a little "off," but so far no one else has caught anything. To be safe, though, we're giving ourselves another day or so to make sure we don't have some sort of secondary violent "vomit fest" rolling through (sorry...)

Still, it's been profitable so far. I was able to read PARCHED by Heather King. It's a great book that describes her maddening descent into alcoholism and other destructive behaviors. Why would I pick a book like this to read? Two reasons:

one, I've read her second book, REDEEMED, in which she talks about her escape from that world and her conversion to Catholicism. It's a fantastic book that I highly recommend;

second, it was a strongly needed reminder that there are NO lives unredeemable... no one beyond the reach of Jesus... and no life a waste. EVERYONE is precious to God, and everyone needs to be recognized for that. I try to remind myself of that when I go shopping, and see others that I would naturally look down my nose at (horrible to admit, but true) -- those that I consider "beneath" me somehow. I try to remember the words of C.S. Lewis, when he said:

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare.

And also...

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours...Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
Both books by Heather King are great reminders of this, and I highly recommend them.

Also, I have been able to start on our "40 days of Lent/40 bags of stuff." I am eager to continue with this project, because for too long I have been complaining to God and man about the lack of space in our home, and my inability to do anything about it. I am thrilled with the idea of clearing out the junk in here, and hope I can continue with my project. In light of that, I am so thankful that Jen posted about this family, who has made a beautiful home for themselves out of 382 sq. ft. of space!

Finally, I can't recommend highly enough the talks that are available from Fr. Larry Richards. You can go to Lighthouse Catholic Media and download several of them. His talk on Confession, plus the brief talk he gave to the Steubenville Young Adult conference called "I Thirst for You," gave me the spiritual jolt that I needed to start off this Lent. I can't put into words what happened, so I won't even try... but it was the perfect way to start off this season.

So, how's your Lent so far?


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I'm glad to hear your review of PARCHED. I read REDEEMED and have been wanting to check out her other book.

I probably shouldn't answer the question about how Lent is going because it's really been fine but I'm having one of those afternoons where I'm tempted to say that NOTHING is going well. :) Sorry to hear about the stomach bug! Thanks for these links!

Ouiz said...

Jen, sorry about your day! Last Friday was one of those days for me -- in the words of Alexander, "a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day." I did, in fact, want to move to Australia.

Hope you get a chance to read PARCHED! It goes nicely with REDEEMED, so you can see how deep she was in that destructive lifestyle. It makes you appreciate the second book even more!