Sunday, March 16, 2008

Holy Week Begins

Today was Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week. This week is filled with wonderful opportunities to marvel at the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Of the readings today, which were all very powerful, the one that caught my attention the most was this portion of Philippians 2:6-11:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
(Phil 2:6-8)

The idea of emptying one's self for God is one that I often struggle with. One of the hardest and most unexpected adjustments I made when I chose to become Catholic was to learn humility and obedience to God and his will. I still work on that daily! For 35 years of my life, I didn't answer to any divine authority, so it was/is quite a change in mindset.

So, how do I keep the everyday stuff from getting in the way of God's work within me? One of the tools I have been using throughout Lent is the Examen of Consciousness, which is an Igantian prayer that focuses on finding God in everyday things. It takes about 15 minutes to do this prayer and very naturally leads me to a conversation with God about my day. Some suggest to pray it twice a day -- once around the middle of the day and once in the evening. At this point, I use it in the evenings and plan to continue the practice after Lent is over.

Another thing I have done this Lent is I have gone to Mass nearly every day. I am very fortunate to have been in a position to do that this Lent and I am very much looking forward to experiencing Holy Week more fully than I have been able to in the past. I have never attended a Chrism Mass, and I am looking forward to doing that this Thursday (10 AM) at our Cathedral Basilica.

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