My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Dear Lent, a confession

I’d like to give a public progress report of my lenten resolutions. I gave up facebook for Lent, and this is something that I’d done the past two years. This year, I decided to ratchet things up a notch if you’ll remember. I gave myself the additional ascetic observances of only an hour per day of internet time and restricting my consumerism.

On the logging off facebook front, I’m pleased to say that has been a major success. I did realize recently that I changed my fb password prior to Ash Wednesday, and I now have no clue what I changed it to. Hopefully it’s safe in my cookies. The hope with giving up fb was that I would make more of an attempt to connect with others through email, phone calls and snail mail. I’ve sent several cards and letters since lent began. However, there are several friends that I have had on my list to “catch up” with for a long time, and I’ve still yet to call them. Grade: B

Now, as for the time I spend on the internet, that’s a tougher claim. Though I did completely log off for the entirety of my week in Sedona (and I figured out how to post in the future—or, rather, set my account to post for me), I’m afraid an hour a day is probably a far cry from what I’ve actually done each day. I justify it by doing most of my online time after the kids are asleep, but nonetheless, I’ll try to work on this for the remaining two weeks of lent (and, really, I should probably work on this for life). Pinterest is easy enough, but it’s wordpress that is my new time suckage. There’s just so much to read! So much to enjoy! I can’t help myself. Grade: C-

The most challenging lenten resolution of the bunch is my self-imposed task of restricting my purchases. This is actually a bit pathetic. I’m sorry to say that the thought doesn’t even enter my head when I’m in the store, being lured by luxuries such as a microplane (I did buy this, but I justified it by buying it for my mom for her birthday). Also, we went to Trader Joe’s, and I cannot restrict myself when I see things in this store. Since my last visit to TJ’s was two years ago, I justified it. I did buy two books for myself (justified since I couldn’t wait out the hold list at the library), and I bought some Easter gifts on Amazon. I can honestly say I was a complete failure at the grocery store as well. When Simply Orange is on sale, I cannot resist the urge to stockpile. It’s in my blood. The upshot of all my purchases is that our refrigerator now runs more efficiently. Grade: F

Honestly, the point of all of this is to remind myself of the lenten season, to appeal to my own interest in living a value-oriented life and reconnect with my catholic heritage. Since lent began, I have not gone to church. I have not opened the Bible. I have prayed. I have considered joining a church, but the only remotely religious appeal I have made is opening up this book I had bought long ago. I did this yesterday, so it’s not exactly something I’ve been working on all through lent. All Saintsis a book organized into daily mini-biographies of inspiring individuals from history. Some of these folks are Catholic, but many are not. As luck would have it (and if you are like many people I know, you would call this a “sign”), the biography for yesterday, March 24, was that of Archbishop Oscar Romero. I don’t know if there is any single person in history that could make me feel more proud of being a Catholic. So there’s that. I still have two weeks left of lent to work on this aspect. But I have been reinvigorated by the words of Archbishop Romero many times.

Icon from

I leave you with this, the prayer of Archbishop Oscar Romero, martyred in 1980 while saying mass in El Salvador:

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.


2 Comments so far
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Thought-provoking quote from Oscar Romero – i am a groupie! And…on shopping at Trader Joes, i resonate with you (!) Before we had to drive a 1/2 hour for a 1x month stockpile visit, but last year they opened a store in our town. Too many goodies, too easily accessed! : )

Comment by Virginia

I am told by the Denver Post that They (“They” being the good people who bring us Trader Joe’s stores) are opening one in Boulder. While still an hour away, I will manage! Way closer than a 16 hour drive to Scottsdale (ha!). As for the Oscar Romero quote, I’m glad I could pass that along. Thanks so much for commenting.

Comment by jaymers

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