Monday Morning Offering: 3/29

Image: George Mendoza

And so it has begun, Lord:
    the Week we call Holy...

I've read how theologians debate 
whether any unit of time or time itself
can actually be or become holy -
but I'll leave that to the scholars, Lord,
and simply wonder about my being holy,
my growing in holiness,
especially in the week ahead...
(Why am I afraid of this word: holy?
Why am I put off by it? 
Why am I so easily convinced
that holiness may be for others - but not for me?

(I want to be strong, healthy, wise, just,
honest, fair, loving, prayerful, faithful,
kind, forgiving and compassionate - 
so why do I shy away from wanting to be holy?

(Could it be I just don't understand
what it means to be holy?
Help me understand, Lord,
especially this week,
and help me want to be holy.
(Help me understand, Lord: to be holy is:
to be the whole person you made me to be;
to be in a right relationship with you, my God; 
to live and work graciously with others;
to use and offer and share
   all the gifts and talents you gave me;
to do what is just, to love what is good,
   and to walk humbly with you, Lord.)
One thing I know for certain:
I could be a whole lot holier than I am right now… 

But just how holy do I want to be?

I want to be holy enough to stand before you, Lord,
without shame or embarrassment…

I want to be holy enough to know that I've helped the poor
- and generously so…

I want to be holy enough to know 
that my intentions and desires, my dreams and schemes,
are honest, pure and just...

I want to be holy enough to love you with a good heart,
cleansed of selfishness and pride…

I want to be holy enough to recognize my lack of holiness
and to ask the help of your grace
whenever and wherever I need it...

Just four days left* in Lent, Lord: 
four more days to be holy in this season of praying, fasting
and serving the needs of others...

I have four days left in Lent
to be more faithful to prayer, morning and night
- or whenever you and I can sit down 
and just have a chat, one-on-one, just the two of us, Lord... 

Four days left in Lent to deny myself 
some taste or sip, some pleasure or toy, some "whatever,"
and in doing so, begin to discover
the hunger that self-denial reveals to me,
that empty space in which to wonder 
how I might better feed and fill the void... 

Four days left in Lent to care for the poor, 
to give to the poor, to be with the poor, 
to work for the poor
- to discover how rich I am -
and learn to share my bounty
with those whose needs are so much greater
than my own...

Four days left in Lent, Lord, 
and then three days of prayer so holy 
they are but one-day-in-three, the Triduum:
Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil...

Each of these days invites me
to enter the holiest of all mysteries, 
your mystery, Jesus:
the mystery of God loving me
- even though I'm not so holy... 

So, I ask you this week, Lord,
to make me at least a little more holy
than I have been...

I offer you this holy week 
and pray you keep me faithful to all it offers: 
the promise of a life, a depth, a gift of peace 
greater than all my hurts and fears... 

I offer you this week, Lord:
make me holy
day by day, one day at a time...


*Lent ends at sundown on Thursday of Holy Week. With the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, the Triduum begins, followed by the 50 days of the Easter season, ending on Pentecost Sunday.

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