It began rough and got rougher...
It seems like this happens every Lent. The struggle is real, real tough that is. I am working hard to get my catechumens and candidates ready to enter the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil and I fear that puts a bit of a spiritual target on my back. This Lent has been no exception.
A few friends and I have an expression that could be a T-Shirt slogan that most Catholics would totally understand. As the challenges get harder, we sigh and say, "Cuz, Lent!" No other explanation is necessary and we understand in that secret Catholic language way, that while we are treading water in the sea of struggles, it will all be used for good as we join it to Christ's suffering and to the sufferings of all those in the universal Church!
The most recent school shooting happened on a day when we usually celebrate love; Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. The image of the mom holding her child and crying, with ashes clearly visible on her forehead, is burned in my mind.
Late 2016 I wrote and article for Today's Catholic Teacher, about threats to our classrooms and how to keep them safe. I wish it wasn't necessary to revisit this issue, but it is. Hopefully, the article may empower and protect some along the way.
Our prayers, thoughts and future actions are with the families affected by this tragedy.
Safety article.... http://www.catholicteacher.com/safety-in-our-classrooms-2/
This year, Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday. As someone who has been married for close to thirty years, I find this oddly appropriate. Many times in our marriage, we have been called to sacrifice for each other and for our love. One of the practices we have, is if one of us has to fast for a medical test or procedure, the other fasts as well. This Valentine's Day, we have decided to offer our Ash Wednesday fasts for each other. We can join this tiny suffering of inconvenience to add to the beauty and holiness of our love for each other. The goal and purpose of our marriage is to help each other and our children to get to heaven. This is the way we do it. One little offering at a time.