By Lucy Johnson
This year, I resolve…
Perhaps it’s due to my age and stage in life, or maybe it’s because my resolutions aim for spiritual growth, but I’ve been keeping the New Year’s Resolutions that I made months ago. This year, I was more intentional and wrote them down. Some are more like goals; for example, attend nine first Friday and five first Saturday Masses in a row. Others, not so.
One was to read a good book. As you might imagine, I own many Catholic books, both written and recommended by WINE contributors. As I was praying about what to read, the book appeared from someplace on my bookshelf. Although published in the 1980s, I had never read it or paid attention to it before.
The book, Challenge by Mark Link, S.J., is one of a three-book series which together provide a 38-week meditation program based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. There’s a daily passage to read and an exercise to complete. Father Link recommended meditating on these for about ten minutes a day.
10 Minutes a Day
Sitting in silence and stillness can be challenging. Time passes very slowly. I usually set a timer so that I can concentrate more fully.
This meditation program has given me a lot to think about.
For example, in one of the chapters, the passage explains that we are three people: the person we think we are, the person others think we are, and the person we actually are. The exercise is to choose two words we would use to describe ourselves, and two words we think God would use.
I am still pondering what those two words would be. I asked my co-workers what two words they would use to describe me. Some answered kindly, others truthfully.
The honest answers made me pause and reflect. Is that how I want people to view me? What words would you choose for this exercise?
In today’s readings, we could use words such as faithful and trusting for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In the Gospel, Jesus is calling us to be true disciples and free. Regardless of the names, we might suggest for ourselves, even on April 1st, there’s no fooling God.
God knows us better than we know ourselves.
About the author:
Lucy Johnson lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, Jeff. She has 7 children and 9 grandchildren. She is a pharmacist at Children’s Hospital and past-president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. (ACCW 2013-2015). Her love of travel has taken her to 5 continents including Africa and Australia. A “Martha” working on her “Mary”, she walked the Camino in 2018.