Well, here we are . . . February 11, 2013 . . . My 46th birthday . . . The day Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign . . . Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes . . . Day 1 of my 18th Week of Pregnancy . . . The day before Mardi Gras . . . Sick day for Jeff (and sniffly for a few others).
Well, here I sit . . . Reclined on the couch . . . Pawn Stars on in the background . . . Awake way too late . . . Barely prepared for tomorrow's school day . . . Needing a good night's sleep . . . Blessed by a good husband, beautiful children, and many friends . . . Thinking about Lent.
I believe the question for this Lenten Season is how to reorder my priorities, my time, and my outlook in order to make room for God's voice. I was struck today by the contrast between Pope Benedict's announced retirement and Pope John Paul II's decision to remain Pope until his death. The latter humbly showed the world the value of all human life, even that which is no longer "useful" by the world's standards. The former is abdicating the Chair of St. Peter with the same spirit of humility, recognizing that the Pope must be more than an example to the world. He must also be the Shepherd to the world largest flock. Two men facing the same decision, coming to nearly opposite conclusions. Both confidently choosing the right course based on their deep understanding of God's Holy Will.
God reveals to us through these men that doing His Will requires us to listen to him, to pay attention. How often have my children failed to do what I've asked simply because they were so focused on what they thought I wanted that they didn't hear me tell them what I actually needed them to do? How often have I done this in my relationship with God . . . assumed I knew what He would want me to do, and skipped the paying attention part (which can be rather time consuming and inconvenient)? How many times have I told myself that being a busy mom was a sufficient excuse to cut short my time spent discerning His guidance? I'm guessing both of these Popes were at least as busy as I am. I'm sure they both longed for days of monastic solitude to listen quietly for God's whispered voice. But they weren't called to that sort of quiet, and neither am I. They certainly didn't wait for it in order to listen for God's voice. Neither can I wait for perfectly quiet moments of inspiration. I must seek His voice in my noisy days, and I must make it a priority to shut out the noise long enough to really listen to his answers.
I think I've found a goal for Lent.