The year has swept by and already I am facing Ash Wednesday Lent is upon me and I feel strangely and desperately unprepared. Lent is arguably my favorite part of the liturgical year. It gives me a chance to draw in, take a breath, look at where I am going and how the path of my life is leading me. It is an opportunity to make those small changes to correct where I am veering away from God and to refocus my efforts on the most important thing in my life, drawing closer to Christ.

It is so easy during the year to get tangled up in the process of living my vocation that I too often forget to watch my goal. Somewhat like taking a hike on difficult terrain. I am so concerned about where to safely put my foot, making sure the children at my side don’t stumble that I don’t look up and see the glory that is all around me, the very reason for being there in the first place. Lent is the pause along the path, the vista is Holy Week, the commemoration of the death and the resurrection, the entire point of being here. This is the time of year where I feel Grace the most strongly, because this is the time of year where I force myself to pay attention.

Last night I was reading a friend’s blog and found my way to the site of the Carmelite Sisters of the most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. I have to share their vocations page. I am NOT a fan of background music on webpages, especially when I can’t find a way to quickly turn it off, but this page gets a pass from me. The music isn’t grand, you can tell this isn’t a professional choir, but it is so heartfelt and simple that it becomes transcendent. It was the perfect thing for my somewhat frazzled and overworked mind to find, soothing and centering — with a challenge implicit in the message, warmth and grace, ancient yet contemporary, offering all to Christ and basking in His light, all those things that I love about my creed.

“Whatever Earth contains cannot surprise a soul, created in your image, with Heaven as it call. Knowing this my heart does sing, I was born for greater things.” This refrain really calls to mind some of the wittings of St. Th鲨se de Lisieux.

I really need to read “Story of a Soul” by St. Th鲨se this year. I find it so beautiful to realize that in the eyes of God the simple things count most. Like the unabashed love of a girl who wanted to give her heart and soul and life to Christ at 15 and died at 24. She is considered a Doctor of the Church, someone who’s insight into faith is so profound that she, in her honest love and faith, gained understanding passing those who might have spent their long lives in study and contemplation.

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