Accept Your Discipline in Life

Dear Parishioners,

A 12th-Century Cistercian spiritual writer, William of St. Thierry, wrote this of us:

O image of God, recognize your dignity,

allow the imprint of your Maker to shine out from you.

To yourself you may appear mean

but in fact you are precious.

To the extent that you have fallen short

of him whose image you are

you have become stamped with foreign images.

But if only you begin to breathe again

to live as you were created,

if only you accept a discipline of life,

then you will quickly shed and part company with

those adulterous images

which are like stains clinging to the surface.

I read this recently and find it to be a fitting reflection as we begin the season of Lent.         

The first two lines: we are made in the image of God and have inherent and invaluable dignity.  Pause on that truth.  We've heard it before, but let it sink in.  We are made in the image of God.  God is good.  We are good.  Yes, we may sin and do things that are ungodly, but that does not change our fundamental identity.

Satan tried to attack our Lord's identity in the desert.  "If  you are the son of God..."  Jesus does not succumb.  He does not need to perform mighty deeds to prove himself the Son of God.

William also advises us to "accept a discipline of life."  The whole season of Lent is about discipline: prayer, fasting, almsgiving.  Other disciplines we might consider undertaking for Lent: going to bed earlier and waking up earlier than usual (and spending that extra time for prayer and in quiet); limiting your use of the phone, TV, technology, and social media; fasting from sweets, alcohol, and other unnecessary items; being more conscientious of avoiding idle talk and gossip. 

Spiritual and moral disciplines aren't meant to burden us.  They let "the imprint of your maker shine out from you." Thank you, God, for the season of Lent!

The Girl Scouts are holding a Mighty Derby car racing event in the school hall this Sunday, March 10th at 11:30am.  They have designed and painted these small wooden cars.  Good luck!    

Men's Club has its meeting this Monday at 7:30pm.  They are working hard for their annual Final Four Party, which is Saturday, April 6th.  Save that date on your calendar—it's always a great party.

This Tuesday, March 12th at 7pm in the chapel is the second installment of my Prayer Series.  If you missed last week, you can still attend.  I made some general comments about prayer and taught some methods of praying, such as Lectio Divina.  Again, all are welcome to attend.  My only demand is that you yourself pray every day throughout the week.    

This Wednesday we will have a penance service for some of the CCD grades.  Thursday is the annual St. Patrick's Day Mass in the church, with music beginning at 6:30pm and the Mass at 7pm.  Thank you to Monica McGuane and everyone else who has helped organize this great Mass.  Saturday, March 16th is our Knights of Columbus St. Patrick's Day Party at St. John Brebeuf Parish at 6:30pm.  This is another great party that the Knights put on.  Please get your tickets if you haven't already.  Not only is it a good way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but proceeds go to a great organization that does much for the church and community. 

Finally, just a reminder that all daily Masses for Lent are in the chapel like usual, except for the Friday 8:30am school Mass and the Saturday morning 8:30am Mass.  Every Friday we also have Stations of the Cross both at 9am and 6pm, as well as Eucharistic Adoration all day in the church.

Don't forget to change your clocks this weekend....spring forward one hour.  The end of winter is in sight (please God)!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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