I have spent one week “in the desert”, so to speak. What a gift and adventure is the Lenten journey when you take the opportunity to remove yourself from some of the rigours and noise of daily life. I grew up in a small rural community which provided an idyllic setting for a child in a large family. Keep in mind that it was also a much quieter time. Of course, the setting wasn’t appreciated until many years later. My parents never spoke of anyone’s misfortunes or indiscretions in our presence that I can remember. Also, while never using the word, humility was a hallmark of the family’s lifestyle. I always thought my father would have preferred if there could be no mirrors in the house, just to ensure, I assume, we remained humble.
This is what I have been reflecting upon much of the week – humility. As the younger of only two females amidst a sea of eight brothers, I so wanted my successes to be acknowledged and affirmed. Instead, there was generally silence. So, I grew up with the example of parents who worked very hard, never took for granted good fortunes, accepted disappointments and setbacks, and probably without ever knowing taught more by what they did not say and how they lived.
I have learned many years later that affirming others, respecting with complete surety that everyone is in the same boat (no one better nor less than the other) is the legacy that my siblings and I have been given. Far greater gifts than material goods. Thank you, mother and father, for your constant faith in God and your lives of simplicity. I pray I have imparted some of these oft-neglected treasures to my own children.
It is right to be thankful for the yearly Lenten journey. May members learn something new that is sustaining now and in the days to come. Until next time, may the many prayers and reflections bring untold rewards and peace…