Monday, February 20, 2012

A Lenten Retreat

As is typical for me, I'm taking a Lenten retreat from cyberspace. This year I am particularly excited because I am compelled to follow St. Louis de Monfort's 33-day preparation for total consecration to Jesus through Mary.

Why Mary? She always points the way to her Son. She never fails. If you are interested in reading more, go here.

A year or so ago, I had checked out a book from the library about this, and just thumbing through it, I thought, no way ... too much praying. I'm not an ascetic. I'm a mom and writer and teacher. So I put the book away. I do often find myself praying while washing dishes or walking or any number of things, even when I'm annoyed. I'm not particularly pious -- my prayers range from thanksgiving and praise to fighting, demanding, wheedling, whining (and some of these things qualities I can't stand in my own children, yet I pester our Heavenly Father likewise) -- but I have a great longing. I cannot really put into words what it is I am longing for (because I have everything, really), but I think it has to do with holiness and wanting to always be with God.

So now I'm ready and happy to do this. I'm including my family by proxy. They may or may not join me for my daily prayers, but I am consecrating them as well. Many times, when I receive the Precious Body of our Lord, I think not only of my soul being healed, but also those who cannot partake. Our Lord is merciful and I am looking forward to getting to know Him better.

I hope you will pray for me during this time, that I may make a worthy consecration on the Feast of Mary's Annunciation, Mar. 25th. Oddly enough, for some time I've been thinking about changing the name of my blog to Fiat! for it was her Fiat that enfleshed the Word, and it is what I long to do always -- the will of God -- in all that I do as a wife, mother, writer, teacher.

God bless you this Lenten season.


Faith E. Hough said...

Fiat! I love it.
Forgive me for a very long comment, but I have to share this Madeleine L'Engle quote:

"The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver. In a very real sense the artist (male or female) should be like Mary who, when the angel told her that she was to bear the Messiah, was obedient to the command.

...I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, "Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me." And the artist either says, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," and willingly becomes the bearer of teh work, or refuses; but the obedient response is not necessarily a conscious one, and not everyone has the humble, courageous obedience of Mary.

As for Mary, she was little more than a child when the angel came to her; she had not lost her child's creative acceptance of the realities moving on the other side of the everyday world. We lose our ability to see angels as we grow older, and that is a tragic loss."

Jane Heitman Healy said...

Vijaya, blessings to you & all of us who look forward to knowing God better this season. And we continue to pray for those who do not yet know him.

Vijaya said...

Faith, I love those quotes by Madeleine L'Engle -- thank you for sharing them here. One of the blessings of having a blog is having these gems handy, so I don't have to go looking for them.

Jane, thank you. Isn't it amazing how the Lord changes our hearts? I could never keep Jesus just to myself. We pray for the conversion of unbelievers for we long for them to know Christ.

Mirka Breen said...

Your observance touches me more than one I encountered some years ago. I remember a Catholic customer from my days of managing a fancy pastry shop. This regular customer bought chocolate truffles every other day. When Lent came, she said post-Vatican II Council Catholics no longer do the traditional fast, and are told to just give up something they love. I assumed she was going to tell me I will not see her for forty days because she is giving up chocolate for Lent. No such thing. She told me she was giving up the Opera. “Oh, you love opera,” said I. “No, I don’t,” she retorted.

Does this mean we will not see you Internet-wise until Easter? I wish you a blessed retreat and I feel grateful to know that some are doing the spiritual work they value so.

Vijaya said...

Mirka, that made me laugh. My children talk about giving up things like brussel sprouts and other vegetables.

I do know that post-Vatican II rules are far more relaxed, which I think makes it easier for most people to observe fasting and abstinence. Our family follows pre-Vatican II rituals, to the chagrin of our children, but they accept the greater penance. They're still too young to fast, but we try to help them give up something they love. Brussel sprouts ain't it.

I do enjoy interaction on the net with like-minded folks, so I give it up for Lent and Advent. Some days I fail spectacularly ... help me be good, okay?

Mirka Breen said...

You’ve got my help. G-d will do the rest, which is almost all of it.
Blessed fasting and contemplation, Vijaya. My respect.

Faith Pray said...

Vijaya, thank you for sharing your journey with us! It is beautiful and inspiring. I have not found many writer friends who reflect such love and balance.
Also, Faith, the Madeleine L'Engle quote is amazing. Thanks for sharing it! I copied it to my desktop so I can spend some time thinking about it.

Vijaya said...

Faith, thank you for reading and sharing in this amazing journey. God bless.