Overlooking the Obvious….
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 10:12AM
It feels a bit like a Paul kind of day.  You know, as in the apostle Paul?  As in the man credited with saying “Oh that my body would do the good I wish it would vs. the considerably less than good it in fact, does do.” Which I just about guarantee will be as rudimentary a translation of Romans 7:19 as you’ll likely hear, but hopefully you get the gist.

Because yes! In light of the fact we are rapidly approaching the midway mark of Lent, today seems to be one of those days I very much would like to will my body to be doing any of a thousand good things.  Pray my rosary.  Walk on the treadmill.  Pray my rosary while walking on the treadmill.  All that would be left, it seems, would be to throw in some fasting and place a few coins in a Rice Bowl, then I’ll have hit the Lenten trifecta of prayer, fasting, & almsgiving—with a little physical activity thrown in for good measure.

Lest I sound casual or flip in this regard, I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth.  For in truth, perhaps like a few others, I often look right past the simplicity of the message this season so clearly and concisely offers us, defaulting instead to the ever convenient coulda/woulda/shoulda philosophy. Well I could do all those things if only I had the time. I would do all those things if only I had the time. I should do all those things… yada yada yada.

Back in the days when I seemingly had scads of time—between the ages of 6 through about  9—much of it was spent with kids in our neighborhood jumping rope to a variety of little ditties, one of which was called HELP. For those unfamiliar with such feats of athleticism, the object was to jump until such time as you missed, all the while continually calling out the letters H-E-L-P. Then, depending on which letter you messed up on (sometimes intentionally so, depending on your particular specialty) your ‘assignment’ was to jump the next series as follows: H for high waters, that is, jumping with the rope raised up so it did not touch the ground; E meant jumping with eyes closed; L for low waters—stooping down to touch the ground between each jump; or P – jumping to the speed of the ever popular hot peppers.

Not saying jump roping makes for the most reverent of Lenten activities, but what if a person were to take their Paul-ian intentions to do good and substitute the following:

L for Longing. I say I long for these spiritual exercises, but do I in fact follow up with…
E for Effort. No getting around it, it takes some of this. Not necessarily a lot, but definitely some.
N  for No excuses.  ‘Nuf said.  Which brings us to…
T for Time.  Speaking of which, it’s a’tickin’ as we speak, and something tells me even Paul would agree that oh-so elusive entity offers a port in the storm for those who truly seek to do good. Ahoy mate!
Article originally appeared on Padua Media - 96.5 Catholic Radio (http://www.paduamedia.com/).
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