Tuesday, February 23, 2010

St. Peter as the Patron Saint of Lent

Back when Cardinal Timothy Dolan was Archbishop of Milwaukee, he had a series on EWTN of weekly reflections for Advent and for Lent (there may be more--so far these are the only two I've seen).  For Advent, he chose the Blessed Mother--okay, that one's obvious.

For Lent, he chose St. Peter.

My parish is sponsoring the series and last night was the first one.  I've always been fond of St. Peter--as one of the participants pointed out, he's the most human of the Apostles, yet he's the one to whom Christ entrusted His Church.

Rather reassuring.

Cardinal Dolan started with the story of Peter walking across the water to Christ.  But Peter becomes distracted by the wind and the waves and sinks.  Jesus rescues him and chides him for having so little faith.

The lesson for us is that we, too, are beckoned by Christ to come to Him.  But we become distracted by the wind and the waves in our lives and lose our focus.  Lent is our opportunity to identify those winds and those waves that distract us.  And Lent is the time for us to focus on the sanctifying grace--the presence of the Trinity--that resides in our soul.  Cardinal Dolan gave some great examples of prayer, not elaborate, but short sentences that his second grade teacher (Sr. Mary Bosco--great name!) taught him:  dedicate your morning to God, offer any challenge during the day to Him, and apologize for offending Him at night.

Okay, Cardinal Dolan--and Sr. Mary Bosco--was much more eloquent.

The session, including small group discussion, was only an hour.  I'm planning to attend all six in hopes that I can keep my focus.