Holy Week begins Sunday, with the observance of Palm Sunday. So Lent is winding down. I always begin the season of Lent hoping that I will learn something about myself and God, and that is part of the season's purpose - -repentance, turning from what has grown old, toward what is being made new, becoming aware of ourselves as beloved, forgiven children of God. So even if we come to this place not having been very "good" about whatever our Lenten discipline was, or having been too busy or stressed to notice the season the way we'd like to, or have in other years, there is still grace here just in the call to daily faithfulness. Moving into Holy Week, that's what I'm thinking about: faithfulness. Showing up for the rituals as they are available, and paying attention to the stories. Every year, the story of Jesus' Passion and Resurrection has something new to tell me, if I will listen. I am praying for the grace to listen, on the journey to the Cross and beyond. To figure out what it is that I need to bring to the Cross this year, and to bring it with quiet honesty, trusting in the mystery of love that this season is about.
"Faithfulness," says Evelyn Underhill, "is consecration in overalls." At some point --many points --we have said, "thy kingdom come," and offered ourselves as participants in God's dream. That is consecration. Faithfulness is the daily, practical doing of the work that lies before us on any given day, and attending to the divine presence in that work, even where it seems unlikely: in the uncongenial job or the ordinary task that I'd rather not do as well as in the surprising opportunities that present themselves, when least expected, to be the presence of God for someone who needs it. In the difficult choices and the routine tasks and assignments, which ask for the best we can offer (not perfection, necessarily, but the best we can offer), there are opportunities for faithfulness. And we begin again each day. Even with Lent winding down, there is still time to remember this.
- Kathleen Henderson Staudt
- I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.