Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Congratulations, Lenten Failures

This year I felt like the flu was the Grinch who stole my Lent. For weeks I've languished, more miserable than not, with one brand of flu after another, back to back. I may find a few days respite, only to be slammed again, by some new incarnation of it.

Some days, I got my penances and devotions right. Most days I was toast. On this Holy Tuesday I'm thinking of all the people who shared their Lenten journeys with me, and how often I heard from them, "I failed."

Me, too.

Congratulations. If we are more aware of our sins, weaknesses, and failures, we have had a successful Lenten journey. I began the 40 days so earnest, chapel veil on my head, and cross of palm ashes on my forehead. I end it sitting here weary, with another achy tummy, having just finished yet another bowl of Mrs. Grass's Chicken Noodle Soup. I have no idea where my chapel veil is. The cross I bear now is not ashes, but illness, and not the usual one! A completely unexpected addition to my season of penance. The flu taught me something, however, namely, without God, I can do nothing. I can't pray. Can't fast. Can't long even so much as for Him. Lord, have mercy, a sistah can't even crawl, Pepto Bismal and Thera-flu in hand, toward grace with out the grace to do so. My vaguest notions of poverty of spirit are oh-so much more real now. I'm completely reliant on God, because I'm a mess, a sick, tired, sinful, and ridiculously needy mess. What is the point of Lent if not becoming more keenly aware of that?

Thank God for failure. It effectively chases ugly spiritual pride away. It burns up our self-reliance. If we are smart, we will learn to love better because of our failues, and look upon our brothers and sisters in Christ, and on this planet period, with the soft, kind eyes of grace.

Another Lenten surprise has been the tender emotional healing of wounds that have needed salve for a long time. Some sore spots in our soul heal a bit, only to fester once again. What love I've been given. I wanted to do something for Jesus. Turns out He did something for me, and several other lovies in my life. Thank you, Lord!

I wasn't able to do the zine, The Stations of the Cross for an African orphan, but I'm keeping the idea for a later time. Sadly, the orphans need so much support, whenever I do it will be timely, and they will benefit from whatever we raise.

I'd still like to share The Stations of the Cross with you, however. By Holy Thursday I'm going to post my ragamuffin stations right here. We, as poor and needy as we are, can walk together with Christ on the scandalous journey that showed us He loves us to death. I hope you will join me, and covet your prayers.

Much love,
mair-francis

6 comments:

Joni said...

This is such an appropriate post, as today's reading reminds us of Peter's failure...denying His Lord.

Thank you for the reminder it's okay to fail!

Rhonda Jeanne said...

I'm sorry you are still sick! :-(

nuzor said...

Ahhh, thanks for this. Reminds me of our convo about Lent. I've been reflecting on God's grace, because this stupid schedule of mine makes me such a failure,

ragamuffin diva said...

Thank you all! Rhonda, I'll get those questions to you soon.

And my dear Godbaby, Ndidi. If you are reflecting on God's grace, you have more than many spiritually. Count yourself among the richly blessed. I love you!

I love you all!

AllisonRhodes said...

Thank you mair-francis. I became more aware of my sins this week, or more ready to deal with them, and it led me to going to confession and receiving communion from a priest last night...the priest who counsels me. He gave communion just to me, just as Jesus would have died just for me.

I am ready to live with Jesus in my heart again, sins, neediness and all ~ Allison

Elysa said...

Thanks for letting me share this over at my blog, Mair. I was a Holy Week failure...so many of my best laid plans just didn't happen...no Passover meal, no special Good Friday activities, the kids' Easter videos didn't come in from the library, I didn't make the purple cross pancakes, etc, etc. I was really starting to feel like I was missing Easter completely then God reminded me that just because I don't get to do one week or weekend like I'd wanted didn't mean I couldn't celebrate Jesus and what He did for me all year long. That really helped.