Sometimes the foolishness of this papacy and its antithesis to Christ jumps out at me during the readings.
If the man is leprous and unclean,
the priest shall declare him unclean
by reason of the sore on his head.
I do not will it.
Don't listen to the rigid sourpussed gossipers - Those are not sores, they are exploding virtues.
March right up and receive the Blessed Sacrament. I shall accompany you to your self-destruction.
I could go on and on with the ridiculousness of Pope Francis 'theology'.
What could be worse than the sins of omission of physicians who hold the power to make clean but do not will it?
After the leper in today's Scripture is healed, doesn't the horses patoot put an obstacle in the way of Christ:
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once...
He said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
The hardest thing in the world is to accept Christ's instructions when you think doing something else will be more productive.
I'm sure the fooline thought broadcasting his healing was a better idea. Twenty seconds after witnessing and benefitting from the Power of Divinity, the leper felt his own idea was superior to Christ's.
The Church is filled to the rafters with them. Rome has become the haunt of demons.
O Lord, your servants humbly implore you to free them from their sins and from their enemies, so that they may lead holy lives, shielded from all adversity. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and rules with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Boy, am I ever ready for Lent.
Over the last few days, I've been thinking about how to draw more Sanctifying Grace, how to give more and better to Christ during Lent. Prayer, fasting, acts of charity, Rosary, etc. How to move myself out of the way, use my gifts and the blog to serve Christ and His people more effectively.
When it comes to doing anything, my practice is to go big or don't go at all. But, I had been thinking of spending this Lent putting more effort into doing small things with love. Focusing in tiny things.
So there I was today, standing in a YUGE line in the grocery store thinking about Lent. Doing my best to tune out the conversation of the older couple behind me, but their discourse kept distracting my thoughts.
He asked her if she minded making the drive to a nearby town to do another errand while they were out. He was expressing his apology for the imposition. I took note of her gentleness and kindness when answering him, but tried again to return to my stream of thoughts.
He then asked her if she had enough soda for the week, or if she wanted a magazine. She declined and sweetly told him his shirt-tail was hanging out. He laughed at himself and told her that he forgot to put on his belt. The effort going into the littlest of things was extraordinary.
I finally stopped my own train of thought. They had my attention. Curiosity was killing me to get a look at them again so I turned and conversed with them. The husband told me they had been married for 26 years and were 'still going very strong'. So adorable.
As a single woman/mother/grandmother, I tend to think of myself as a person whose feet hit the floor running 14 hour days doing the best I can to sacrifice with love and practice charity. But, even falling into bed exhausted, I rarely feel like my best was good enough. This couple practiced kindness with excellence. Exploring new ways to practice small acts of kindness may be my focus during Lent and I just might drag you all into the rabbit hole with me.
I hate to keep using the Romans as the example not to follow, but they don't make it easy to ignore their malpractice of every virtue! Kindness is not the absence of truth. If one's shirttail is hanging out or one has leprosy, deceiving them is not an act of kindness. Honesty and kindness are indivisible.
From the Book The Power of Kindness:
"Dante's Inferno describes the lowest most terrible point in hell as a silent, icy place. The traitors, stained with the most evil of sins, have their heads immersed in an eternally frozen swamp. These damned souls are incapable of emotions and think nothing of betraying family, country, friends. Hell is the total absence of all feeling. It is the negation of warmth, a dark, frightening place where you are alone and without love.
Afterward, Dante climbs the Mount of Purgatory--a long and arduous ascent that represents the work of purification and strengthening necessary for finding ourselves. At the apex of Purgatory, after not seeing her for a very long time, Dante finds his old love, Beatrice, here representing Truth. Beatrice is cold to him: she does not run to embrace him. She wants him to feel the full weight of his forgetfulness. She reproaches him: Why did you neglect me? It is at once the tantrum of a furious woman and the imperious cry of Truth to those who for too long have trodden the wrong path. Dante is frozen, like the snow on the Apennine mountains. But under the rays of the spring sun, this snow thaws. Dante thaws too, and weeps. Once again, he feels the warmth of emotion. Afterward, he is 'pure and ready to climb the stars."
For Dante, warmth is the potential for all emotions, and therefore makes life itself possible. Warmth for him is also the prerequisite for transformation. As usual, a poet understood what scientists and researchers discovered centuries later: We cannot live without the warmth and closeness of others..."
Feelings are not an irritating variable but a great richness that allows us to know things we never even imagined. The heart has its reasons that reason knows not. Knowledge of the heart gives us the chance to know others, not as statistical data or lifeless puppets but as vibrant beings, full of hopes and dreams. Knowledge of the heart is instinctive, direct, wordless. You, friend, know your friend needs you. You, partner, are aware that your partner is in difficulty, or that she is okay. You, parent, know how your child is feeling without having to ask.
Here's some solid Lenten direction from Fr. Landry: Formulating a plan for Lent and Beyond.
Blessed Feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes and prayers for each of your for a holy season of Lent.
The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning has come, the voice of the turtledove is hear in our land. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come: my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall. Alleluia, alleluia! Show your face to me; let your voice sound in my ears, for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful. Alleluia!