……from your Pastor’s Desk
Realigning Our Priorities
All of us have, at one time or another, named certain things as our “priorities”. From time to time, when we become aware of our not doing something that is really important, we say, “I have to make that a priority.”
Lent is an important time to do a top-to-bottom review of what we value and what we actually do in our every day lives. Whenever we do this, we always discover that something needs realigning. We discover that there are values we hold, commitments we’ve made, growth we desire, that simply do not make it on the list of our “actual priorities” – that is, the things that are “first place” in our lives. For example, I might say, “My family is my first priority!”: My family might say otherwise. I might say, “My faith is among my top priorities,” but an honest self-examination may show otherwise. I may say I hear the words of Jesus that we will be judged really on only one thing: how we cared for “the least” of his sisters and brothers. However, I may only occasionally even notice that feeding, clothing, caring for, or defending the marginal never makes it to my priority list.
A thorough review of what is important to us, and what seems to be important to us by virtue of what we actually do, is prime Lenten activity. If what we are hoping to do during Lent is to grow in personal freedom, based upon our growing sense of God’s love for us, and our clearer vision of who we are, and our deepening desire to be more closely aligned with the heart of Jesus, then we will want to do this personal review very carefully. How else might we ever hope to get to a heroic, courageous, self—sacrificing service of others? What chance will care of the poor ever have of making it into our priorities? How will we ever be able to break old self-defeating habits and secure the establishment of new ones that help us to become who we actually want to be?
It can start in a variety of ways, but it would be wonderful if we could start with prayer. We can ask God, in our own words, and with desire, for the grace to do this review with real honesty and with a real desire to grow in freedom and integrity.