Saturday, February 26, 2011

Going Towards Lent

Hard to believe Christmas is over,
spring is slowly coming
and Lent is quickly coming towards us.
I've been exploring WordPress after being frustrated with
Blogger for not loading my pictures.
But I am finding WordPress to be less intuitive,
lacking simplicity and ease of use.
Not impressed but disappointed as I like the wordpress blogs I see.
But how did anyone managed to get use to it and
load pictures quickly,
I do not know.
Speaking of quickly,
is it just me or is it really hard to be efficient and keep up
with house keeping?
It is hard to be patient sometimes, in this regards.
Here's a great podcast that I listened to while
doing dishes -
Fr. Tom Hopko on lenten reading
I listened to it with a librarian's delight
and my love of planning.
But I had to admit to myself that, as Fr. Hopko says,
I must pray as I can, not as I wish I can.
I wish I had the spiritual strength to do more
and I know I have to go towards this,
but at the level I am at I have to keep it simple.
1. Try to maintain the prayer rule I have now
2. Goal: pray the prayer of St. Ephraim once a day
3. Try to do some of the daily Scripture readings,
as I am able.
It was about lent year three where I tried to really
do more during Lent and now, a good 4 years later,
I feel that I took on too much,
at least for that time.
It is enough to humbly realize that I have a hard time
keeping up with what I do now and
to ask God's mercy.
And frankly,
it took me years to realize how much I loved
the idea of looking like one who prays
or even thinking about how I will do it
or even blogging about how important it is to love God
and pray with great attention
and that all of the above is not prayer.
Not that I don't pray or that God does not have mercy on my
youthful attempts and dreams for this.
No, it is good. It is good to pray as one is able.
But it is also good to realize that perhaps
others pray with a great depth than one's self,
that one's heart if often hard;
I love the prayers that ask for mercy
due to hardness of heart, due to lack of tears for one's
Isn't it wonderful to have a Heavenly Father who
wants us to admit our state,
as my spiritual father counseled us,
and that we will be welcomed with heavenly rejoicing
as we admit how far away we are,
how we squandered everything
how we are not worthy to be a son or daughter of God
and that as we admit this
we are ushered into the Kingdom,
dressed with the robe of baptism,
and a party with all our friends is given.
So best to admit one's state.
If we cannot see at all where we are
and how frail and feeble
and that we thus need God's help,
we cannot grow in repentance and be healed.
So we need to pluck up our courage
and pray that God will help us welcome lent
and pray as we are able
and, as Fr. Tom's podcast said,
live a little more as we are meant to live.
Lord help and protect us.


Sarah said...

I love what you quoted from Fr. Hopko about praying what you can. That's a real encouragement. I can't believe Lent is almost here either, yet Christmas seems like long ago. :)

Sarah in Indiana said...

You are definitely not the only one who struggles to be efficient and keep up with housekeeping! That's one of my biggest struggles, for sure.

Thanks for sharing the Fr. Tom podcast on Lenten reading! I've picked out a few things, but I know I'll need more.

I think prayer is a struggle for almost all of us as well--at least, it's a struggle if we recognize the need for it and are honest with ourselves about our failings. Thank God for the Saints to pray for us all, and that God is good and has mercy on us sinners!

Anna said...

Keeping up with housekeeping is definitely difficult! Especially for those of us who live on our own - I find it's much easier to do tedious things for visitors' sake than 'just mine'.

I agree about Wordpress - don't quite understand the great hype. Blogger has drawbacks but is simpler. I often have trouble uploading pictures to Wordpress, and the editing interface can be slow. How about Livejournal?

I wish you a glad Maslenitsa with many pancakes!

Amy the Lion said...

Thank you for this blog post. I struggle constantly to be much better than I am, and feel at times that I am only failing. It's a hard, slow journey towards having a prayerful and clean home. Maybe I should try listening to the bible on tape while washing the dishes?

DebD said...

you quoted "I must pray as I can, not as I wish I can."

oh my..... That makes me step back and reflect a bit.

I'm sorry that you're struggling with Blogger and didn't find much help with WP. I like WP and find it quite easy to use (and getting easier) but I never tried Blogger first. It's probably very much like switching musical instruments...similar but quite different.

RW said...

I don't ever catch up with the housework. Constantly behind. I have given up that battle.