From: Mary Zimmerman
As we near the halfway point of Lent perhaps it would be wise if we all asked ourselves howís it going? Letís all just momentarily step aside now and then from the worldly distractions. In school we periodically are given tests to see if we are absorbing our lessons. Life in general is somewhat similar.
With a birthday coming up April 11, (aIím 65+), I ask myself how am I doing? Well, not too many gray hairs yet. What counts is what I have learned in my many years of life, what advice or shortcuts for a good life do I have to offer!
Well, Richard Carlson, author of a book ďDonít Sweat the Small Stuff,Ē encourages us to write someone a friendly heartfelt letter once a week for the purpose of expressing love and gratitude. So many people are deserving of that and I like doing it, especially for my children. Mr. Carlson also says by being a giving person we not only help others but ourselves as well. Perhaps I fare quite well there. Sometimes when I look for something I canít remember if I still have it or if I gave it away. I love to give, especially helping to meet the needs of the poor. Sometimes I miss my other stainless steel fry pan but I had two and Stacy didnít have any so it was just the right thing to do, as it was with giving away to Grace Place one of my winter coats, now two of us can be warm.
Abortion continues, we must all ask ourselves what have I done to stop this hideous crime? After watching a program on TV (Life on the Rock, EWTN), it was about Melissa who survived a saline induced abortion procedure in 1977 and suffered no mental or physical damage. In 2008 she returned to the same hospital to give birth to her daughter Olivia. She is a wife and mother and now travels around the world sharing her story in the hope of saving babies. Women donít have the right to choose, there are two lives at stake here, you havenít got the right to destroy one for any reason, from conception to natural death. What can we do? Join in this war against killing these innocent little people, with prayer, supporting pro-life organizations, writing letters to the editor. We need to all recognize and value human life. This was especially brought home to me recently when I was confronted with the news from the doctor that because I had lost my energy and was a bit short-winded may very well be the fact I have pneumonia and congestive heart failure. I asked, ďWhatís that?Ē It sounded so frightening! I hardly wanted to share this news with my children. Then I looked it up and it also said just the name could give you a heart attack. Now I was sure the medical condition was misnamed. More suitable would be ďlazy heart,Ē as your heart just doesnít get around to do all its duties as it should, so a pill or two will help it along. But I suppose Iíll have to leave the salt shaker alone, maybe the sugar too. Oh well, I can always eat an orange and maybe a little dark chocolate! You think?
I have work to do yet. My mission not yet complete, helping save souls for Christ, so I donít plan on going anyplace anytime soon. However if you care to send me a note to wish me well, maybe even tell me ďI said a prayer for you today,Ē a little personal note would be so appreciated vs. just bills. My address is 318 Orrin St., Winona, MN 55987.
Anyway, this experience has caused me to ask myself whatís really important in my life? I say my family. Now I just pray for them and try to shine my light on their path now and then that they may find their way through this maze of life into their eternal home of heaven someday.
Well, in conclusion, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, how are we doing?
Today at Mass I hear ďbe perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.Ē In light of that I will certainly have to say in all honesty, not so well as I should or could have in all the areas of the suggested Lenten practices, but Lent isnít over yet and we are still alive. God commands of us a shortcut, that of love, then He explains it this way - it goes beyond loving our brother and sister, even pagans do that. Jesus goes so far as to say love your enemies. Wouldnít that change the world in a hurry?
Let us thank God for all the blessings and graces He has given us and continues to do so to help us become the person He wants us to be. Of ourselves we can do nothing (all is grace). With Godís help all things are possible. May God bless our efforts this Lent. May the peace of Christ rest upon all of us.