Friday, March 24, 2006


So in addition to being about fish fries ;), Lent is about introspection, reflection, and personal examination.

As one of the Elect, there are three Rites of Scrutiny for me on the third, fourth, and fifth weekends during Lent. The purpose of the Rite of Scrutiny is to examine one's self and, especially for the Elect, look deep into yourself to scrutinize your readiness for your conversion to the faith.

The Rite itself involved me going to the front of church and kneeling between the gate of the communion rail. The entire congregation, including the priest, also knelt with me. My sponsor also knelt next to me, then later got up to pray over me. Afterwards, the priest had me stand, and he gently placed his hands on my head and prayed over me also.

Since this was the first occasion on which I was involved in the Rite of Scrutiny, I didn't know what to expect. I thought perhaps the priest was going to say something to/about me as he placed his hands on my head, but he said nothing and just closed his eyes, seemingly deep in thought/prayer. Admittedly, there wasn't much in my mind except "is he going to say something?" but then when I realized he wasn't going to say something, I tried to focus on receiving the gift of his prayer.

Our church is very fortunate to have this particular priest as our pastor. He is a good man, trustworthy, thoughtful, considerate, attentive to details, and holy. Sadly, we don't often enough these days hear the term "holy" connected with a Catholic priest.

One of the things I have spent time reflecting on during Lent is the idea that grace may present itself in people in ordinary circumstances; ordinary people doing extraordinary things. For example, I never thought of myself as having grace, but due to my instruction in the Catholic faith, I am able to recognize that some of my talents are grace working through me. This makes me feel more connected to God, and especially the Holy Spirit.

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