Lent is here and although my Catholic happenings only extend to Christmas and Easter mass with my family, I still like to partake in the preparation seasons of Advent and Lent. My whole life was consumed with Catholic traditions so it’s kind of hard to walk completely away from it all together. At times I feel like it’s calling me back… I guess it is part of my identity. There were certain choices I made based on the fact that I was Catholic… am Catholic… I embrace this tug back to the religion only because there is better understanding of it all. My break from the religion allowed me to experience the far bigger, deeper relationship with God that I could have without any restrains. I let go of the idea that the only way I could connect to God was through an institution or a person. I learned to speak from my heart, instead of reciting memorized prayers that had no meaning to me. I also came to realize my spiritual gift of prophecy. Others outside the catholic faith that had this gift appeared in my life and I was not scared of the visions, dreams anymore, (I mean there are some that wake me up at night.) I now understand it is His leading to pursue the light and bring others to the light. My need to be perfect has disappeared. I had spent the majority of my life so careful not to look bad. I needed to be just right. I had such high expectations of myself, not that I blame Cathoclism but that feeling of shame after Confession did not make it any better. Now, I have not altogether joined a Catholic church or anything but I do feel like it’s happening.. maybe for the preparation for a family, a marriage… or simply a need for a foundation.
So, my aunt asked me why do we get ashes. A test, I know, “a remembrance of Christ’s death.” So I must remember that: I, me is not the focus. There is an urgency to commit entirely to Him. He has called me to do something that I was created to do. I mustn’t compare, or be jealous of others’ successes when those “successes” were not made for me. I must remember the calling that was I destined to serve. I must listen to know what steps to take. I must remember to stay at peace and be gentle in my words and in my actions. I must remember to have humilty and pray earnestly to uphold humility. To let go of any entitlement, self-righteous mindset because it blocks me from hearing you, Lord. My greatest plea in this season: help me to love, Lord. To love those that have hurt me directly and those I see hurting others. Help me to love and start anew, forgiving all transgressions… everyone is a clean slate. “I still love you.” Help me to love.
In my written correspondences with people I have noticed I can not end without “Love.” Love Period. Maybe it’s a reminder to myself …or maybe it’s a deep love I feel for the person I communicating with. I dunno. I have decided to love maybe a year ago. I am not sure how it came about but I started to have this overwhelming sense of love for others. I think The Surrender has a lot to do with it. Believe me it was hard to write this word to certain people because I did not want to scare them away. To even say the word seemed far-fetched. The love word had only resided within my family, where it felt comfortable and did not cause uneasiness. I did not have to explain. To speak the word to others outside of my family was a little too much. “U good?” became my love word. U good was simple and pretty much the love word. As to say, I am concerned about you because I love you= U good? Yet, the process has brought on a need to speak, write the word. As Stevie Wonder reminds is, ” Love is in need of love today.” A call to speak, write, and embrace love.
In this Lenten season, teach me how to love, God.
Live and work without pride. Be gentle and kind. Do not be hard on others. Let love keep you from doing that. Work hard to live together as one by the help of the Holy Spirit. Then there will be peace.