Thursday, March 1, 2007

Sunday, March 4 ~ Second Sunday of Lent

Luke 9:28-36

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli'jah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah" -- not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Questions for Reflection and/or Discussion

This passage is used frequently to describe what happens when one goes on a religious retreat. You are up on the mountain, amazed at the clarity with which you see God, and you want to stay there forever. In fact, it is downright disheartening to come back down the mountain and enter your daily life again. These mountaintop experiences are valuable in that they bring us closer to God in a short amount of time. Have I ever made a retreat, guided or independent? Am I in need of a retreat now?

As busy moms, maybe we cannot spend an entire weekend in retreat, but could we go away for one day or even a half of a day in the midst of this Lenten season? An Adoration chapel or quiet church would be a perfect place to spend the day with God. Just bring some resources and break up the day a bit. Here is a sample schedule of a half day individually-guided retreat; repeat for a whole day retreat or add your own ideas:
*** Go to Mass if available
9:00AM Rosary & Meditation
9:30 Silent Personal Prayer & Journaling
10:00 Read & Meditate on Sacred Scripture
10:30 Break
10:45 Silent Personal Prayer
11:00 Read Spiritual Reading or Life of a Saint
11:30 Walk & Pray Stations of the Cross
12:00 Break
12:15 Examination of Conscience
12:40 Silent Personal Prayer & Journaling
*** Go to Confession if available
If I cannot make a retreat, how can I make mini-retreats in the midst of my busy days? Especially during Lent, the call to prayer is strong. Can I visit an Adoration chapel one hour a week? What other options are available to me to grow closer to God right now?

Coming down from the mountain can be similar to going through spiritual dry spells. We can easily become frustrated by our inability to see Jesus “in his glory” during the trials or mundane rituals of our lives. In these times, how do I continue in perseverance with my spiritual walk? What resources or people do I seek out in times like these to drink from living water and cure my dry spells? Our spiritual lives become stronger by living in this world. Most people are not called to go to Heaven immediately; we are called to live on earth in order to sanctify our souls. How well do I endure this life while hoping for the next?

Also, can you believe Peter, John, and James slept right through a conversation between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah? Wow! What amazing things do we “sleep” through that Jesus would like us to see? Are we always ready and aware for His appearance in our life? Personally, this week, three different circumstances in my life have resulted in the same fact. I know this is from the Holy Spirit and plan to pursue a new goal as a result. Sometimes I pray for God to hit me on the head with a 2x4 to tell me His will, but this is seldom necessary. He tells us His will all the time. Am I listening closely? How do I train my ear to hear Him?

Brothers and sisters, be joyful and keep the faith and do the little things which you heard and saw with me. ~St. David of Wales