These Gospel passages just keep getting bigger and bigger. There’s so much that can be said about the story of the Woman at the Well. I had a hard time wrapping my mind around how to speak well about this critical story in just a few short minutes on YouTube.
I settled on the importance of water and the lessons we can learn about setting priorities. Water is essential for life. We cannot live long without it. It is something we need to be aware of at all times. I cannot imagine living in Jesus’ time, needing to carry water to my home every single day. It is hard enough keeping water in my little boys’ water bottles throughout the day, and I have a sink!
Water is something we learn to prioritize early in life. This Gospel passage caused me to ponder what else we prioritize in our lives. How does our schedule reflect what we consider the most important?
I recently wrote an article for Catholicmom.com that I think speaks well to the topic of priorities, but with a twist. It’s an article about wasted time and making a conscious effort to slow down our day. Today will never be here again, tomorrow is something new. We ought to savor each day even as we work and play. However, if we don’t prioritize what’s most important, our days fly by and we stand to miss out on many blessings God wishes to give us.
This week, whenever you drink water, think about the most important things in your day. How are you prioritizing your time? Have you put the first things first? Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire your prayer to help you discern how to spend your time.
Well, the Holy Spirit has been at it again. First things, there are no new Lenten journals this year. I don’t know what it is about Lent but I have a hard time figuring out a journal in the style I tend to create which makes sense across the span of the 40 days of Lent and Holy Week. But this isn’t stopping the Holy Spirit from inspiring other ways to share with you all.
Seeking to Remain is my brand new YouTube channel for Lent, 2023. I will be posting weekly Gospel reflections which I hope will encourage you in your Lenten journey. I’ll be sharing insights into the passages themselves, at times offering wider context for what’s going on, and thinking about ways we can carry the messages we find into our coming week.
Whole books, whole collections of books, have been written about the Gospels. We have 2,000+ years of research, reflection and inspiration to draw from. A lifetime is not enough time to fully experience the richness of tradition and wisdom God has gifted to the Church.
That being said, I am not going to be making lengthy , 40+ minute long videos which tease any number of nuances or challenges from the readings. A. I don’t have that kind of time. B. I’m guessing you don’t either. Or if you do, you’re already watching that kind of content.
My goal is 5-7 minute videos. That’s it. Short and to the point with minimal ad interruptions. I want these brief minutes to become sacred space for you to spend time with God during Lent. No matter how busy we are, we can find 5 minutes out of a whole week to dedicate to God. If you find you have more time, read the full Gospel passage before or after watching the video. Spend time talking with God about what you heard and what He is asking if you.
I’m going to try to post on the blog as well when new videos come out. As with all social media, subscribe to the channel if you want up to date notifications in the event I don’t also get the chance to post here. I won’t be hounding you for likes, comments, etc in the videos. The point is sacred space, not likes or subscription milestones.
So, without further ado, here’s video 1 of the Seeking to Remain YouTube channel for Lent! May you have a Lent full of connection with God as He continues to draw you closer in His love.
It’s that time of year again, if you can believe it. All the memes about how March lasted for 5 years, the summer was 1,000 days and that this year would never end. Yet here we are, at the end of October. In a way, Catholics get to cheat the system a little bit. We don’t have to wait for December 31, 2020 to celebrate the end of the year. According to our liturgical calendar, the new year begins the first Sunday of Advent – this year on November 29.
This year has been full. Full of emotion, full of questions, full of time. I know so many of us are hoping for some sense of closure to 2020 by the time 2021 gets here. Rather than blocking out the past 9 months, I would like to challenge all of us to use this Advent season to meditate on what God has been speaking to us. What lessons have you learned? How have you grown? What good things will you carry forward into the Christmas season?
Advent, while a festive time secularly, is also a desert time. It is a time where we relearn, each year, how to wait with hope and purpose. Taking time with Scripture is an excellent way to slow down and focus on where the Holy Spirit is leading you for the season.
With this in mind, I’ve created two completely free Advent resources. The first is the classic Lectio Divina journal that I’ve been creating for a number of years now. In it you will find a guide for how to pray following the lectio model as well as daily journal pages. The pages have a Scripture passage selected from the day’s readings and include space for journaling, prayer and reflection. If you would like to choose your own Scriptures, there is a blank page included below as well that you can print off as many times as you would like.
The second journal is both similar and a departure from last year’s reflection journal, for those of you who used it. We are still focusing on the Sunday readings, but in a new way. Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, each day will have a Scripture focus taken from the Sunday readings. The Scripture is accompanied by a short meditation and reflection question with space to journal.
Now, the techy stuff. There are 2 versions of each journal. One is the normal, in order, print, staple at the corner, you’re on your way. The second, for the brave and adventurous, is set up so that you can turn your journal into a legitimate booklet. You will have to print double sided either by choosing that setting on your printer, or by printing the odd pages, reinserting them into your printer however you need to (every printer is different, I’m sorry I can give better directions than that) and then printing the even pages. I highly recommend do a test of the first and second pages to make sure you have the process down before printing the whole thing.
I hope that you find these journals helpful and encouraging during the upcoming Advent season. I love hearing how they have blessed you, your families and small groups. Please feel free to let me know if you have ideas or suggestions for Lent. I would also love love love to know how the booklet printing goes – it took a lot of brain power to figure out how to get the pages in the right order and I hope it works for you.
Please share this post with anyone who is looking for a quality Advent resource and doesn’t want to wait for shipping! May God bless each of you as the year closes and Advent brings us into a brand new year.