Wednesday, March 05, 2014

A Little Lenten Lesson

His Excellency, the Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, in an article in the Intermountain Catholic, the official newspaper of the diocese, provides a short reflection of why we do what we do this Lent.

"Again We Keep..."

Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. 
Joel 2:12-13
As an aid to become perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, a way to grow in discipleship, and as preparation to celebrate the great Paschal Mysteries come Holy Week, the Church carves from her liturgical calendar each year a time to meditate upon the salvific action of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection.

Whether we hear the reminder of our mortality or the call to repentance when the Sign of the Cross is traced upon our foreheads with ashes today, we should recall a rather stark reality. While being made in the image and likeness of God and called to be His adopted children, we should realize first and foremost we are creatures totally dependent on the Creator.  Because we have sinned and wandered far away from His love, we are in need of His redemption and sanctification.  Because we were given free will, we have the ability to receive and utilize His grace as much as reject and scorn it.

With this backdrop, we begin to shape our preparation for the next "forty days".  How will we our prayers rise like incense? What excess can be removed from our lives? How do we recognize the needs of our neighbor and respond to them? We know what planks are in our eyes, what stumbling blocks are ahead of us, what things we have covered with Pharisaical white.  True conversion is a life-long process; this provides us with a chance to focus.

May whatever seeds planted this Lent bear a fruitful harvest this Easter.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Off To Work?

"How's the job hunt going?"

Funny you should ask.

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is I did land a part-time job last November.  I work for a company that demonstrates various foods and other products in a members-only wholesale warehouse.  It's only one, maybe two days a week, but at least it's something.  It's allowing me to re-establish some of my job skills and demonstrate I am still employable.


The bad news is another opportunity went awry.  Shortly before Thanksgiving I interviewed for a position in a call center for a major home improvement center, one which would involve assisting customers with their on-line purchases.  Shortly after the new year began, I accepted their offer of employment.  I started a training program at the end of January, with the goal of transitioning to take calls in five weeks.  The classroom work went OK.  But putting on a headset proved to be an entirely different matter.  Whether I really don't have the personality to do something like that or lack the courage to overcome the difficulties (and yes, dear Brutus, I know where lies the fault), I was struggling to keep my composure.  Thirty minutes into my shift yesterday, after almost breaking down in tears again, and despite the best intentions of those who were in charge of this portion of the training, encouraging me to keep at it, I decided to walk away.

The self-doubt still resides.  It won't go away until I put myself in the right situation.  "Go Forward" is the only option.

Back to the drawing board.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

March 2014 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Respect for Women. That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women. 
Mission:  Vocations. That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.