This morning, driving along a country road (we have a lot of those where I live!) I saw my first red-winged blackbird of the year! Then I saw another and another. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may know that this is the bird that my family looks for as the first sign of Spring. Yay! It has been a long Winter, but then, aren’t they always? We also entered into the season of Lent as of yesterday with Ash Wednesday. This season, the fasting and prayer-filled season before Easter, gets its name from the Latin word for “Spring.”
I have had it pointed out to me by my friendly neighborhood priest that Lent can be a season of renewal and joy. O.k., father! No offense, but this is not my favorite liturgical season! Fasting and abstaining from meat is not my idea of a good time. I think I’m looking at this all wrong, at least according to Father Hugh.
Through our prayer and fasting (which, by the way, Our Lady of Medjugorje has specifically asked us to do in this immediate time of peril!) we can draw closer to God. Is our sacrifice as great as His? Um, hello? Nowhere near, but that doesn’t mean it can’t help us to draw closer to Him. A little sacrifice vs. a closer relationship. Yup. I’ll take the closer relationship!
I especially felt called to share a Rosary with my family each evening. If you aren’t familiar with the Rosary, it is a set of prayer beads given to St. Dominic by Our Lady in an apparition in 1208. Roman Catholics around the world use the Rosary beads to pray the prayers of the Rosary, which include the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, among others in a certain order while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary for each decade of it. The mysteries are in four sets. They are as follows:
The Mysteries of the Rosary
The Joyful Mysteries: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Our Lord, The Presentation, The Finding of the Child in the Temple (Recited on Mondays and Saturdays.)
The Luminous Mysteries: The Baptism in the River Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Call to Conversion, The Transfiguration, The Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist (Recited on Thursdays.)
The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pilar, The Crowning with Thorns, Jesus Carries the Cross, The Crucifixion (Recited on Tuesdays and Fridays.)
The Glorious Mysteries: The Resurrection, The Ascension, The Descent of the Holy Spirit Upon the Apostles at Pentecost, The Assumption, The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth (Recited on Wednesdays and Saturdays.)
Now, I know that all of you are not Catholic, or even Christian, and that’s fine! In fact, Our Lady has told us at Medjugorje that there is only one God. It is us who separate Him into different religions. Okey dokey! Yes, ma’am! Who am I to question the mother of God? Nope! Not me! This practice of saying a family Rosary has brought me a sense of peace.
So, no matter how you are looking at the Spring season, and trust me, we will have snow yet (I believe they said Sunday night for us!) it is a rebirth. Who will you be?