So I gave up negative Blogging about the Roman Catholic Hierarchy for Lent. So far, I think I've done OK, save for a couple of "likes" here and there on other peoples' comments on FB. Seriously though, as much it may appear that I aspire more to be Maureen Dowd, than Mother Teresa, I do realize that there is a time for pushing the envelope, and a time for pulling back, turning inward, and resisting the urge to comment on every remark made by Cardinal Dolan!
During Lent, we are called to "go into the desert" so to speak, just as Jesus did. Jesus needed this time, not just to re-energize, but to wrestle with the demons that were always trying to trip him up. There are many ways to do this though. Certainly, taking time away from the "noise" of TV, the internet, and Facebook is a start, and replacing that noise with quiet reflective prayer...and listening to the Divine Essence that resides in each and every one of us is crucial. Ideally, we would all make this a part of our daily routine. Lent is a time to refocus our efforts in this regard. But there is another way that I experience the desert spirituality of Jesus. I "steal away" from home, family, work, and play, to spend an hour or two a week with my sisters in the Vineyard. Why sisters? because it is here that I MOST experience the unconditional love and fellowship of Jesus.
There is something unique about a group of women coming together to share their journeys, and reflect with one another the presence of the Divine. There is no judgement, but we do challenge one another to see our stumbling blocks. Two such groups have surfaced in my life recently. One is a periodic book group through the parish in the city where I work, and the other is a group that formed as a result of this blog, with women from the parish where I have raised all of my children. Both are a welcome gift of "desert spirituality" in my life where I am called to be better tomorrow, than I am today. "Because when we know better, we do better". (Fr. Phil from my sister's parish in Indiana).
I also have four actual sisters with whom I grew up in a family of seven children. They have been very present in my mind of late. One sister left today for a mission trip in Kenya! She has been preparing for several months for this trip and my thoughts and prayers are with her over these next 10 days. Another sister turns 50 this year and has decided to plan a "sisters' weekend" this summer to celebrate. She too is feeling the call to sisterhood of late.
I honestly believe God is calling women together in this age because God needs us to heal this broken world. It is time to listen, to reflect, and to join together, so that the healing power of God can animate us to create a world where love and fellowship reign among all peoples.