Monday, March 12, 2012

Travel Update

Yesterday was the 3rd Sunday of Lent, and with only a few weeks to go before Easter, one asks:  Just how am I going in my Lenten Journey?

I don't know about others, but speaking for myself when I resolve to make changes in certain aspects of my life, I find it rather hard to stick to resolutions and resist slip ups here and there, particularly during Lent.  However I take comfort in the thought that Jesus not only showed us He fell a number of times on His way to Mt Calvary, but that He got up as many times - to keep going.  Truly, the way to a renewed life is only through THAT journey, the Way of the Cross which, with the loving and abiding grace of God, will always lead to death to ourselves, then after which comes New Life in Christ!

Some days ago we reconstructed the children's Lenten Resolutions mobiles and hung them up in the study to serve as constant reminders of what they hope to achieve this Lent in the way of spiritual advancement.  In our discussions about these useful tools we established that they represent their promise to Jesus as each picture depicts a virtue that they would like to develop with the help of God's grace.

We were also delighted to have rediscovered Sacrifice / Good Deed Beads as another helpful instrument for earning graces this season.  Back in 2006 I made several sacrifice beads as baptism favours to give away to friends and family who joined us during Curlytops' baptism.  (St Therese is regarded as the one who gave us the sacrifice beads and with Curlytops being named after her, we chose it as our giveaway / keepsake for the special occasion.)  From the batch that I made back then I found 3 left over, so I just had to make one more for Bright-eyes.  Thankfully, the children have shown a lot of enthusiasm about these Sacrifice Beads and we're hoping and praying that these will really help them strive for goodness and virtue this Lent.

In addition, each child also received their own "My Lenten Offerings / Easter Eggs Chart" where 40 ovals or egg shapes are labelled with good deeds.  The aim is for them to achieve at least one of these good deeds per day, after which they can colour and decorate the egg.  At the end of Lent (i.e. come Easter), they will have 40 colourful eggs!!

On the the homefront, prayer time is going well - especially because we've been able to get ourselves back to Eucharistic Adoration, at least weekly which is really helping us in our struggles this season, and even the challenges we face as a family in general.  Daily Mass continues to be a challenge due to several variables each day, and these days apart from Sunday Mass, we try to get to Friday evening Masses followed by Confession then Adoration /Benediction; and also on special feastdays in the calendar. 

Overall, we are happy with how we are going, though we could probably do more.  Limited by different things, we would have to be resigned to the fact that God calls us to be prayerful, sacrificial and charitable first and foremost in our immediate neighbours (i.e. family), so this is an ongoing challenge for us - especially with the everyday tests we face - individually and as a family.


by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori -- Mondays in Lent

O my afflicted Mother! Queen of Martyrs and of Sorrows, thou didst so bitterly weep over thy Son, Who died for my salvation; but what will thy tears avail me if I am lost? By the merits, then, of thy Sorrows, obtain for me deep contrition for my sins, and a true amendment of life, together with constant and tender compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and thy Dolors. And if Jesus and thou, being so innocent, have suffered so much for love of me, obtain that at least I, who am deserving of Hell, may suffer something for thy love. "O Lady," will I say with St. Bonaventure, "if I have offended thee, in justice wound my heart; if I have served thee, I now ask wounds for my reward. It is shameful to me to see my Lord Jesus wounded, and thee wounded with Him, and myself without a wound." In fine, O my Mother, by the grief that thou didst experience in seeing thy Son bow down His head and expire on the Cross in the midst of so many torments, I beseech thee to obtain for me a holy death. Ah, cease not, O Advocate of sinners, to assist my afflicted soul in the midst of the combat in which it will have to engage in its great passage from time to eternity. And as it is probable that I may then have lost my speech and strength to invoke thy sweet name and the Holy Name of Jesus, Who art all my hope, I do so now; I invoke thy Son and thee to succor me in that last moment; and I say, Jesus and Mary, to Thee I commend my soul. Amen. (Silent reflection... Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be...)