Here it is mid-Lent and I am recollecting my Lenten obligations and goals. It’s safe to say there have been a lot of distractions, but that’s life isn’t it? If one never gets beyond those things which detract from prayer, then one will probably never pray.

One thing that’s been helping is remembering the difference between meditation and contemplation. While I wish that every time the moment came for prayer I was ‘in the mood’ for prayer, and that I immediately entered into some sort of contemplative reverie and felt God’s peace flowing through me, that has simply not been happening of late. Meditation involves fixing our thoughts and concentration, filling our mind; contemplation is a gift from God which flows from meditation.

So I meditate on the holy mysteries, and consciously fill my mind with thoughts of Christ’s passion, of Mary’s sorrows, the mysteries of Scripture, the mysteries of the Faith. I’m occasionally led into a true sense of contemplation, but more often than not I’m undertaking a conscious act of the will to dwell upon, to fill my mind with, thoughts of Jesus Christ.

I’ll be following up with some of the fruits of those exercises.

A Beautiful Day

It’s a beautiful day outside.

There are moments of holiness in every day, and I’ve been given to ponder upon how life in general goes on despite the ups and downs of our individual lives. For all the woes in the world, it’s a beautiful day outside, and all one has to do is walk outside to simply be in it and to enjoy it. The woes of the world will always be outdone by God’s blessings.

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord; praise and exalt Him above all forever!”

An Erimitic Life

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I could easily live out my life as a hermit.

I enjoy solitude.

Of course I also enjoy getting together with friends too. But maybe I should have considered life as a hermit at some point?

The Carmelite Hermits seem to have a good idea going. As does Sister Dawiczck, who lives in a bluffside coulee off of Highway 35, in Genoa, Wisconsin.

I’ll have to pray about this. Maybe I’m being called to an even more secluded life?

Until then, I am going to go look up what a coulee is.

People of the Lie

I had read a part of this book a few years back, and recently came across it again while visiting a friend.

I tore through it.

It’s practically ancient history, being written in 1983. But I appreciate what he writes about evil personality traits, since we all come across people like this in our lives:

  • consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle.
  • excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury.
  • pronounced concern with a public image and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of life-style but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives.
  • intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophreniclike disturbance of thinking at times of stress.
  • People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck, M.D., (Touchstone Publishing, 1983,) p. 65.

An interesting phenomenon, for sure. But it’s true. Sometimes we meet people who are either evil in this subtle kind of way, or whom we experience similarly as evil.

As long as we learn to recognize them, while remaining prayerful.

"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah…"

Some things never change.

Jesus shows us today that in some instances we have to walk through these politically/humanly contrived messes with some amount of dignity. On the other hand, he also adeptly avoided them on several occasions as well; always worth consideration.

I’ve been reading up on Souly Walking, two youths walking across the USA to spread the Gospel. It’s a helpful counterpoint to listening to news about the national political scene.