Lenten Reflection for 3/20 – Community of the Faithful
Today’s Reading: Romans 7:13-25
For Today’s reflection, I am collaborating with Lauren Finan, a former member of St. Martin’s. I am also sponsoring her for Confirmation at her parish, St. Michael’s and All Angels. Her thoughts on the readings were insightful, succinct and right on target:
“When we embrace God’s word, his grace will become clear and open to us. We must try to see his grace and love so all the badness will leave our lives.”
-Lauren Finan, age 12.
In Romans 7:13-25, Paul laments about his inability to do the “right thing.” “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Later in the passage he writes “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.” Paul sounds very alone in this writing. It is so easy to get caught up in things going wrong that we become isolated in our day to day struggles. This is where the community of the faithful comes into play. Stepping through the doors at St. Martin’s you are instantly surrounded by warm and friendly smiles and people just as flawed and perfectly imperfect as they come. But as a community, we can come together in a common purpose of serving God and serving one another.
Below is the Prayer of Philaret. It sums up everything we strive for, against our own imperfect nature.
Prayer of Philaret
Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.
Help me in all things to reveal your will in me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul, and with firm conviction that your will governs everything.
In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct my will.
Teach me to pray.
Pray yourself in me.
In collaborating with Lauren, I knew it would be a great activity allowing us to come together and discuss the readings as we journey together in her walk towards confirmation. I love that we will be forever linked together through our mentor relationship. I still remember Jane and Mike Lodes, my wonderful Confirmation sponsors. It was an amazing experience that I shared with 12 other friends of mine at The Church of the Resurrection in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I can vividly remember standing in my beautiful white floral dress with my sponsors by my side. I knew this was a special day.
I feel so fortunate to be putting on the big shoes of Confirmation sponsor for Lauren. This is such a special time for her and I am delighted to be a part of her life, especially as she is taking steps towards claiming her faith for herself. When she is confirmed, she will be embraced by a large community of supporters who will vow in the liturgy to do anything in their power to help her as she continues to develop spiritually as a young adult.
In truth, we never walk on our path of faith by ourselves. It takes a community to keep us on the right path. Then even as we stumble, we have those wonderful people to pick us right back up and point us in the right direction.