Day 17: Fasting for Greater Love

Whom did I neglect? 

When sacrifices are done out of love, they inevitably draw us closer to our Lord and prayer. When we think of fasting, it’s easy to think about simply giving up a meal or food. But what about fasting from unnecessary iPhone use in order to pray more.  What about saying no to a few social activities to sit in silence and prioritize centering prayer?  

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Day 16: Battling the Fear of Living

Where did I neglect myself? 

There are seasons in my life where I love my body by eating healthy, not overdoing the sugar and wine, and moving and stretching daily.  There are seasons when I’m out of control with insane behavior, neglecting myself, giving in to every destructive desire, eating beyond being satisfied (gluttony), drinking too much wine, and giving in to laziness and comfort (sloth) or just placing my self-care last on the list because of my busyness.  You would never know this when you look at me. My outside isn’t congruent with the inside when I am in this fallen state. Perhaps I’m deceiving myself as well!

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Day 15: Surprising Connections

Reflections by Jacquelyne Rocan

Do I offer strangers a warm welcome?  

Recently on a trip with a good friend and her daughter to celebrate her daughter’s 18th birthday. We enjoyed a fabulous afternoon tea.  The tables in the restaurant were close together, and a mother and her daughter sitting beside us smiled and leaned over to wish my friend’s daughter a happy birthday.  Before I knew it, we were talking and sharing stories like old friends.  We all enjoyed the conversation and learning more about each other.  This moment of grace among strangers enhanced the special time that we enjoyed on the trip.

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Day 14: Willing the Good of the Other

Do I want good for other people?

Today as I was driving, there was a gentle, light rain. I barely noticed the drizzle. As I started driving faster on the freeway, the drizzle became a blur on my window and I couldn’t see without turning on my wipers. 

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Day 13: The Gift of Faith

Reflection by Jacquelyne Rocan

Do I ask God to increase my faith each day? 

Sometimes I fail to appreciate the greatness of the gift of faith.  Faith in God has provided a sure grounding for my life — it has made the blessings sweeter and eased the pain of sufferings I have encountered.  I cannot imagine my life without faith in God.  However, as someone who was raised in a faith-filled home and continues to practice my faith, at times I take for granted how God has blessed me with the gift of faith throughout my life.  

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Day 12: Serving Others

An important service to those in need.

There are so many things that I love about the Catholic Church.  The teachings, prayers, and writings from the saints all draw me deeper into my relationship with God. After all, this is the role of the Church to give us community and grow in our faith. 

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Day 11: Words of Kindness

What words do I speak throughout the day?

Words are powerful. They can be life giving or they can be destructive. When I started to notice my words, it revealed to me what was living in my heart.  The times I would get caught up in gossip or comparison conversations with others, I noticed that I was feeling unworthy and less than. Once I shifted to do something life affirming for myself, I didn’t feel drawn to participate in those destructive, gossipy conversations. 

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Day 10: Living Intentionally

What is your plan?

What do you use to help shape your daily goals, ultimately your life’s plan? There are so many ways to approach our day, it’s important to remember that it is pretty much our intentions that make the difference. We can learn from various faith traditions including Twelve Step recovery on how to do this.  God is constantly drawing us towards himself and uses all of creation to do this.  When we slow down, we notice things. We become actors rather than reactors and this gives us a choice to live life with purpose.  

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Day 9: Spreading Sunshine

Reflections by Jacquelyne Rocan

Did I keep a smile on my face today?

It is hard to keep smiling when I have a lot on my mind.  Between issues with family, friends, work, other activities, finances, and devastating events in the world, it can be hard to keep smiling.  I forget, though, the impact of a smile on my face for others and how it can help bring peace and joy to my inner turmoil as well.  

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Day 8: Lending A Hand

Reflection by Jacquelyne Rocan

Did I lend a hand to help the poor and excluded today?

When I am driving and stop at a red light where there is a man or woman (or sometimes a child) asking for money to help their situation, I often find myself torn between offering them a few dollars or leaving the window rolled up and going on my way.  I hear both sides of the debate — am I enabling someone to continue down a path that I don’t think of as good or healthy, or am I simply offering a helping hand to the person in front of me who is in need?  

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