Lent, a time for personal conversion

Over the years, I have noticed that the crowds at Mass on Ash Wednesday rival even Christmas and Easter. There is something attractive about being called to renew our relationship with God, about the penitential nature of the day and of this season that is fundamentally about conversion.

Spending time with my spiritual father

I write these words from the Eternal City of Rome, whither I’ve come with my brother bishops from Region 11 (California, Nevada and Hawaii) for our ad limina visit. This is a regular and canonically required trip to pray at the limina apostolorum (the threshold of the apostles), the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul, and to meet with the successor of Peter. Yesterday (January 27) was the first official day of the pilgrimage, and it was extraordinary indeed. We gathered early in the morning for Mass in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, in the presence of the tomb of the Galilean fisherman to whom Jesus gave the keys of kingdom of heaven. And then, just about a half-hour later, we were ushered into the Apostolic Palace, and after traversing a number of elaborately decorated corridors and receiving a few salutes from Swiss Guards (I’ll confess that I rather like the salutes!), we lined up to meet the pope.

Orar sin cesar a través de los Salmos

Cuando San Pablo dice: “orar sin cesar”, pienso para mis adentros, “Es loable y bueno para ti, San Pablo, pero yo no soy más que una persona común y corriente”. Tengo “carpool” y Costco, y un calendario llenísimo. Y, además, a veces estoy demasiado enojada como para orar. Otras veces estoy demasiado sola para orar. Y otras, seamos sinceros, soy demasiado terca como para orar.

Orando cuando Dios calla

La oración es un diálogo con Dios, un “compartir de cerca entre amigos”, dijera Sta. Teresa de Jesús. Abrimos nuestros corazones a Dios y dependemos de su respuesta. Nuestra existencia misma depende de la Palabra de Dios, por la cual “todo fue creado” (Juan 1,3). ¿Qué hacer entonces cuando nuestras peticiones más urgentes no reciben respuesta? ¿Cómo orar cuando Dios calla?

Prayer without ceasing through the Psalms

When St. Paul says to “pray without ceasing,” I think to myself, “That’s all well and good for you, St. Paul, but I am just a regular person.” I have carpool and Costco and an overflowing calendar. Besides, sometimes I am too mad to pray. Some-times I am too lonely to pray. And sometimes, let’s be honest, I am just too stubborn to pray.

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