As happens every Lent, my daughter’s school hosts the Stations of the Cross every Friday. An upper grade combines with a lower grade and the children read from Scripture, act out the scene, and help us to reflect. They charm us with the cuteness of the little ones and move us with the depth of insight of the older children. I have had to miss the last few events due to my work schedule. Now that my daughter is an avid reader, she was assigned three stations to read with a 7thgrade partner. I’m sure I could have requested personal time in advance. However, given recent developments, my boss and I now have a standing meeting with an individual every Friday. Te puedes imaginar how I looked when I realized that I would be spending time with said person, rather than experiencing a Lenten tradition with my child.
|This Chihuahua is my spirit animal; I give this look when #icant|
It’s not very Lenten or Catholic of me, I know, but I’m also the writer who brought you You’re Ruining My Advent. To make matters worse, my boss was unavailable to join the meeting and asked if I could handle it on my own.
Though I admit I wanted to say no, I couldn’t possibly handle it, I took a few moments to gather my thoughts before agreeing to move forward. So while my daughter took the microphone and read Scripture, I fought the urge to read this person.
|“Shade comes from reading…reading is the real art form of insult” Paris is Burning|
I did not give out a piece of my mind. I conducted the meeting calmly and professionally.
Was it a Lenten miracle? Grace? Personal will? All of the above. I have the ability to choose how I act. I have the ability to choose whether or not my emotions will control me or I will control them. I choose to treat people with respect. I choose to leave another’s dignity intact. In doing so, I commemorate the Stations of the Cross. So while I would have preferred to be at the Stations of the Cross in person, I was with my daughter in spirit. In reflection, I see how the Stations she was assigned speak to the situation I experienced.
The 3rd Station: Jesus falls for the first time
My faith journey has been one of struggle and failure. I have never pretended to be someone for whom faith and religious practice come easily. I fall all the time. Though I don’t fall quite like I did before I got my mind right, I have moments of weakness. My anger against the co-worker or any other person who may have slighted me is a feeling with which I wrestle. I know it is not right to hold grudges or pass judgment. I am praying for those who anger me. I am praying for a heart of forgiveness and compassion.
The 4th Station: Jesus meets his mother
My faith journey has been shaped by those I love. My own mother taught me to pray. While her methods in doing so were not always gentle, they gave me words that have sustained during my most challenging trials. I wrapped a rosary around my arm when I went into labor with my daughter. I pray before every appointment, test, and medical procedure. I prayed before the Friday work meeting. Now that I’m a mother, I walk with my daughter in her faith journey. Together, we pray the rosary, attend Mass, read the Gospels, and talk about our faith. When she struggles, I struggle. When she hurts, I hurt. Love and faith are intertwined.
The 5th Station: Simon helps Jesus carry the cross
Despite my personal struggles, I accept the call to serve others. I do so in my career. I do so in my personal life. I may want to decline sometimes. I may be angry, indignant, fearful, exhausted. But I take up the cross. In doing so, I remember who I truly am. I am a person of faith and compassion.
This struggle is Lent. Lent is a time to accept our humanity in all its facets and to accept the call to love others. Lent is a journey toward peace.