Welcome Message

Welcome to my blog about Catholic life and family values.
This blog will center around the beauty of Catholicism and how to raise families, evangelize our faith, and fight the ongoing spritual battles that challenge us daily.

You are invited to share your wisdom on these pages with all the readers. Together we will address important life and faith issues and how to enhance our Catholic identity.

Key areas that you will find me addressing regularly will be about important Catholic doctrine and beliefs and how they help us raise strong Catholic Christian families. My hope is that you will learn, enjoy, and be challenged by my posts. You may be informed, amused, or even annoyed, but I hope it will in some way improve your Catholic faith.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Memory

It was Ash Wednesday in 1981 and I was a junior in high school. I'll never forget the challenge given to my youth group at St. Augustine's by our pastor. He challenged us to wear a symbol of the Lenten season all 40 days everywhere we went - school, town, movies - everywhere.

We each received a fairly good sized thorn to pin on our shirts. The message was that Christ wore his crown of thorns on Good Friday, so we would show our support for his sacrifice visibly. We were charged to never forget wearing it.

We all got off to a great start. It was actually fun to "educate" our non-Catholic friends on why we were wearing a "tree" on our shirts. Nobody derided us; it was actually great dialogue. Since we did it as a fairly large group, there was a sense of team.

I'm sure the good priest knew what would happen next. I'm guessing it was part of the lesson. On occasion, each of us would forget to pin on our thorn. When this happened, one of us would tear off a small piece and share. By the end of the 40 days, all of our thorns were about 75% gone!

The lesson - we all shared our sacrifice with each other. Not only had we been a visible symbol for Jesus, we had also been support for each other. When one fell (or simply forgot), we were there to pick each other up. In retrospect, I suspect this was the biggest lesson of all.

I look back and think, "Maybe I should wear that thorn again." The reality is that without my team it wouldn't be the same. However, because of that team, the memory and the lesson will live forever.

Have a great Lent.

Vivat Jesus,


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