Reconciliation and laundry. That could kind of sum up my weekend. All in all, I think a lot was accomplished.
Got most of the laundry done! Yay! Got some paperwork from school taken care of. Unnecessary, but required. Special Ed progress reports are the most useless piece of paperwork that we do. (Report cards should be enough of a progress report, in my humble opinion.) You want to know how useless they are?? I didn't do them for years...and the world did not come to an end! No child was harmed. Education was not impeded. But now with the computer age, Big Brother can check on us to make sure they were done. So they were done.
You remember my penance from a couple of weeks ago....the one about asking God to show me how to be Compassionate Shepherd, Bread of Life, Giver of Hope in my life? I had one long conversation with the Lord about that, and it left as many questions as answers. The advice from my good priest was to "keep talking and keep listening." So I have been listening with at least half an ear. One thing that I found interesting was that nearly every day (this Sunday being an exception) I have come across at least one of those words in the Scripture readings of the day. I was wondering if the string would continue throughout Lent.
But in the conversation, I had kind of skipped over the whole Bread of Life thing. I figured that was the Good Lord's job. How could I possibly be the Bread of Life?? But this weekend, I was reading Mother Teresa's Come Be My Light (excellent!!) and I came across an answer to just that! She wondered at "the greatness of the humility of God? in making Himself the "Bread of Life", and believed that "our live must be woven with the Eucharist"...that we must give ourselves just as totally to others...especially since Christ makes Himself present in the poor. We are to become "bread" to feed the "hungry Christ".
And really...that kind of makes sense. Especially when we consume the Eucharist...the Eucharist doesn't become part of us...we become (or should become) the Gift that we receive - Jesus. We are a Eucharistic people...blessed and broken for others.
One thing that I have been working on for a while is the Ad Altare Dei religious award with a small group of Boy Scouts. We have 4 in the group - 2 of them mine. We are working through the sacraments one at a time, and today we finished up with Reconciliation. I don't think that I am wasting my time, but with 4 teenage boys, there is a good bit of goofing off, and I sometimes wonder if we are accomplishing very much...if anything is sinking in. It has a lot of book requirements and discussion questions, and sometimes the discussing is very limited.
Each sacrament (chapter) ends with some type of prayer service. For Baptism, I think we washed each other's hands and re-lit our Baptismal candles. For confirmation, we did something about recognizing each other's gifts. For the others, I used the suggestions in the leader's guide, but this one I did myself. I think it turned out nicely. The two other moms had good things to say about it, and sometimes I do think they think we are wasting their time.
We started off with a song courtesy of my iPad...Matt Maher's "Every Little Prison", because, you know, sin is like a prison. This particular song was based on the Litany of Humility.
Then we lit candles off of the one representing Jesus in the middle and recalled how at Baptism, our candles were "lit". After a prayer and a reading of the Prodigal Son with a little explanation thrown in about how it relates to confession, we blew out the candles and went through an examination of conscience for teens. I modified it from this. We took turns reading and commenting as we saw fit. Then it was time to say an Act of Contrition and relight out candles (which is what happens in confession) to share our light with the world. To finish up, I played "Only Grace" by Matthew West.
Maybe some of them will be encouraged to go to confession during the Lenten season. Maybe someone reading this will be... GO!
Life is good and the weather is awesome!
22 July: Feast of St. Mary Magdalene
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