The Raphael Remedy

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Lent is fast approaching which means my favorite time of year is around the corner- Easter, Spring, Resurrection- then summer! Lent is always so great. Unlike other times of the year when we delude ourselves into thinking we should be very happy and all should be going smoothly, Lent focuses us on using sufferings and sacrifices to grow in holiness and to prepare for the joy of Easter.

Too often though we set such lofty goals, similar to New Year’s resolutions. We plan to conquer mountains in the spiritual life, eat nothing but bread and water and never utter an untoward word. By the end of Ash Wednesday we’re usually defeated. I know I feel that way. After fasting my blood sugar drops and it makes me pretty cranky.

This Lent, try to see how God is working in your life through the speed bumps- the little things that He allows in the small annoyances of everyday life. Fulton Sheen once remarked that in the Middle Ages, people wore hair shirts for mortification but in our modern world we don’t need them. Today’s society serves a daily buffet of irritations and monkey wrenches that interfere with our plans. For me, computers are the most reliable offenders. Would love to give them up for Lent but that might short circuit my road to holiness in that they offer me a great opportunity to “offer up” and to recognize my ultimate dependence on God- not technology. After all, He can take our technology down in a heartbeat and then what?

I love the song “This is the Stuff” by Francesca Battistelli! In the song she sings:

“This is the Stuff that gets under my skin but I have to trust, you know exactly what you’re doing- it may not be what I would choose, but this is the stuff you use!” (See her video below.)

Brilliant! So let’s march into Lent armed with a sense of humor and the ultimate remedy and tool for holiness-TRUST. God does know what he’s doing!

Allison Ricciardi, LMHC
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