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How is your Lenten Healing Journey going?  Are you worn out from all the sacrificing, almsgiving and praying?  Perhaps it is time to re-charge your batteries at this half way point.  What does that look like?  For starters, lets continue to be intentional about our efforts.  Lets pray like it is the last time we will ever pray and lets renew  our energies to be vigilant for the many opportunities to give and sacrifice for others.   Are you exhausted just hearing those words?  Truth be told brothers and sisters in Christ, I am therese

God is calling each one of us to go deeper in our relationship with Him every day, especially during this season of Lent.  The problem is, we are flat out tired and not taking the time to listen.  Its easier to just close our eyes at the end of the night then to spend a few of our remaining waking moments in prayer.  Its easier to ignore that person who needs our help either on the street corner or in our neighborhood.  Its easier to just tune everyone and everything out and forget about our charitable obligations.  This is precisely why I am writing this blog today because I am inclined to do those things.  I need to jump start my Lent.  I need to give till it hurts.  Right now, I don’t feel like giving, but we must…I must!

Here’s a road map towards getting through the next 20 days!  (1) Do the little things with great love–the “Little Way” of St. Therese of Lisieux.  Don’t think about all that needs to get done in the next 3 weeks, but take it one day and one moment at a time.  Start at home!  I find myself forgetting to be chivalrous towards my wife.  My friends, your vocation is your daily opportunity to grow in holiness.  The last couple of days, I have been failing to do the little things that are important to help my wife feel like she is still my beautiful bride.  Some things as simple as saying God bless you after a sneeze or helping put her coat on prior to departing a restaurant.  Yes, you would think that these things would be second nature by now, but they are not.  We must be intentional!  The little things do make a difference.  Our attitudes about them are important.  Which brings us to step (2) in our re-charge.

smile imagePut a smile on your face! We are Christians, lets act like it.  I think a smile has to be intentional.  I read once that it takes more muscles in your face to put on a frown than it does for a smile.  So turn that frown upside down and let others know that you have joy in your life.  Yes, things may not be perfect, but we have joy in the knowledge that Christ died for us.  We are redeemed!  We are a new creation thanks to His life, death and resurrection.  Let’s allow our faces to indicate such.

(3) Say YES to opportunities to help.  Instead of seeking opportunities to help others these next 20 days, lets just say “yes” anytime an opportunity presents itself either by word or invitation in the mail.  The  next mailer requesting financial support, send them $5-10.  That’s right. How good is this going to make you feel?  Make it happen!  Get your check book out when you get your mail.  Saying yes will make the remaining part of Lent a tremendous blessing.

Finally, (4)  prepare for Holy Week now.  Make sure you schedule the time off on Good Friday (4/3) and Holy Saturday (4/4) to keep those days solemn and sacred.  You will be glad that you did.  Resurrect an old Catholic Tradition and plan to visit three churches on Holy Saturday.  Take in the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday or a Passion play.  Seek out an adoration chapel during the hours of 12-3pm and thank the Lord for all He has done for you.

A re-charge doesn’t require much, but attentiveness is key.  Jesus said to Peter, James, and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).  Stay awake!  Be vigilant as the next 20 days will go by like a blur if you don’t take the time to enter into this Holy Season.  Pray for me as I will pray for of gethsemane

In Christ’s healing love,

Mark Houck