By now, I hope you are well into your spiritual exercises for Lent! Lent of course is a time to test the real character of ourselves, just as Jesus went out into the desert to face his temptations, so we too enter into our “desert experience” in order know better know our self and to be drawn ever closer to God. I have here a quote from Thomas Merton, a modern spiritual giant, that might help us along the way. It’s entitled: “God Knows Us First:”
“We know God in so far as we become aware of ourselves as known through and through by God. We ‘possess’ God in proportion as we realize ourselves to be possessed by God in the inmost depths of our being. Meditation or ‘prayer of the heart’ is the active effort we make to keep our hearts open so that we may be enlightened by God and filled with this realization of our true relation to God. Therefore, the classic form of ‘meditation’ is repetitive invocation of the name of Jesus in the heart emptied of all images and cares. Hence, the aim of meditation, in the context of Christian faith, is not to arrive at an objective and apparently ‘scientific’ knowledge about God, but to come to know God through the realization that our very being is penetrated with God’s knowledge and love of us! Our knowledge of God is paradoxically a knowledge, not of God as the object of our scrutiny, but of ourselves as utterly dependent on God’s saving and merciful knowledge of us. It is in proportion as we are known to God that we find our real being and identity in Christ.” These are good words for us to digest.
I want to take a brief moment and ask that you keep our Confirmation students in your prayers as they will be having their Confirmation Retreat this coming Saturday, March 23rd at the Church of St. Paul. May they come to know more fully our God and as our God fully knows them!
Finally, I want to thank all those who helped at our St. Paul’s Fish Fry this past Friday March 15th. I know, “It’s baked not fried!” and it was delicious! This is a great event, one that not only feeds us but also helps draw us together in the spirit of Lent. Thank you again! I personally like to travel to the various parishes around St. Cloud to also try their wonderful fish meal on Fridays of Lent. It’s a great way to meet new people and support their parish event. This said, I believe our ACC sister parish of St. Joseph in Waite Park is having their Fish Fry this Friday, March 22nd and All Saints Academy, our Catholic School, is also having their Annual Fish Fry on Friday, March 29th at St. Joe in St. Joseph, MN, the following week. This is a great fund raiser for both! Please consider joining us, not only in support of our ACC but also our ASA School on these Fridays as well. Hope to see you there! Peace and God bless!