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Thanks Be To God

Life is filled with tension. What to do, not to do? What is too much, not enough? Knowing, not knowing, not caring. Emotional highs and lows and joys and disappointments – all at the same time.

Thank be to God for this Holy Easter Holiday that teaches us to die to live.

At the risk of being self-righteous, I share my Lenten sacrifice. This is a first for me. I am sad to say it had never seemed that important in preparation for Easter. How blind I have been. We must choose to be awake to receive the Son-rise.

At the risk of being petty, I choose to forgo the 2PM-4PM-half-price-drinks-run to Sonic. This is a habit I have fallen into that has taken on a life of its own. At 1:30 in the afternoon – I don’t want to miss it - my attention is drawn to the senses.

Everything is spiritual. How is it that denying the self can be as fulfilling as satisfying the self? Lent is not about the ego-self (edging God out) but the true-self (centering God in). Self-control is an essential part of the spiritual life. As the appetite is tamed the soul flourishes.

This iota of surrender is making an enormous shift in my thinking. My afternoon attention is being refocused from Dr. Pepper to the Great Physician. My thirst is being translated from soda pop to Living Waters. And in the process every sense is becoming sharper. God’s silence speaks volumes and my stillness listens and my wisdom heart hears.

How many times does God speak and we do not hear for our spiritual ear is dulled by the illusionary pleasures and pains of life? In The Liturgical Year, Sister Joan Chittister relates the story of a disciple who heard a voice calling, “Who is there?” Sensing a holy moment, she replied, “It is I, Lord.” But there was only silence.

Years later she again heard the voice and again she answered, “It is I, Lord. It is I.” But there was only silence.

In later years, the voice called a third time, “Who is there?”

This time she answered, “It is You, Lord, only You.”

Apostle Paul expressed it as decreasing so that God might increase. Diane Bardwell sings, “Ever dying into You am I, until there is only You.”

Living, dying; growing, overcoming, it's all, "Thanks be to God."

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