Mid-Lent Reflections

24 March 2009

Yes.  I am still here.

And a few dozen people a day still visit the ‘blog, even though it’s been dormant for months.  Thank you.  It makes me feel loved, and I’m not even joking.

One of the things that struck me this Lent was a reflection I happened upon by St. Claude de la Colombiere, a saint I didn’t remember ever hearing of, but which I no doubt had, since it turns out he’s associated with Saint marguerite Marie Alacoque.

Anyway, St. Claude’s reflection had to do with the way we deal with the many small challenges of life: an annoying person, a small inconvenience, an inconsequential disappointment, or a petty snub.

Few of us ever have to deal with the true challenges that give us opportunities to  foster truly heroic virtue.  How many of us have ever advanced against an oppressor’s gun or saved someone’s life at the risk of our own?  How many of us ever will?

St. Claude suggested to think of these former challenges, small as they might be, as “thorns” which, while painful, give us an opportunity to foster small virtues, which hopefully, on balance, can amount to a great development in our characters.

This made sense to me.  After all, how many of us would not appreciate many little efforts and triumphs from someone incapable of doing the big stuff, or for whom the opportunities for great triumphs simply didn’t exist?

So it is with my customary Lenten disciplines.  I know that I am not always as patient when I’m fasting, but at the same time that’s not an excuse for being rude.  It’s just an explanation.

There have been a lot of interesting developments in our lives lately, but I’m not yet at liberty to discuss them.

Suffice it to say, I have a meeting with my Spiritual Director tomorrow, to try to sort out some things.  Hopefully I will be a greater liberty to discuss some of this in the next few weeks.


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