My Lenten Journey as a Catechumen, Now Elect

This Sunday will be first participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. To say I am excited is an understatement. It is something that I have longed for a very long time – almost unbeknownst to myself until recently. My birthday is also on Holy Thursday – I think that’s a sign that becoming Catholic is what God intended as I turn a new leaf in my life.

However, if we are being honest, I feel a constant impedance to my spiritual enlightenment we’ll call it, like my inability to partake in the Eucharist specifically, in conjunction with all other sacraments. I don’t feel like I can truly connect to Christ and the divinity of the Trinity until I can partake in all sacraments. Surely I cannot be the only one.

In the first week of Lent, I was unsure how to evaluate the days passed. Or how to evaluate anything, actually. I attended Ash Wednesday at my parish – my first time ever attending an Ash Wednesday ceremony. That following Sunday mass was the Rite of Election where I became an Elect, welcomed and invited to participate in Easter Vigil.

My biggest struggle has been overcoming my self-sabotaging nature. Learning that Lenten fasting is not as astringent as Islam fasting (no food, no water from sun up to sun down) was a nice sentiment. This was likely because I ignorantly thought it would be easier to eat only three times a day and control my portions… Dear Lawd, I was wrong.

This could be something that could be remedied if I were stronger in my prayer life – I made God a promise Ash Wednesday to become more diligent. Feeling the significance of emulating Jesus as he went into the woods to reflect, fast, and pray to come to grips with his impending death, the importance of self-control, self-introspection, and devotion are not lost on me.

On Sunday, our father gave a wonderful homily asking us to pray and reflect on what we have been conditioned to believe we need to exist in this life, i.e. what material, immoral, or reprehensible practice or item can we not fathom living without, over the Love of Christ?

Technology? Money? Material items? Clearly this required a deeper thought, but it was a good place to start. Assuming that I had a start to facilitate to begin with.

I have realized in horror (which has been self-sustaining because I have no been committed to correcting it) that my daily prayers have been lax since I may my initial commitment to God to improve them over this Lenten season. I’ve made calendar reminds to save me from myself. Because this is more of a soft-initiation for me into a life of dedicated prayer and practicing the Rosary, I found comfort when Catholic Radio mentioned that the reality of the promises we initially made may not be coming to fruition. (I also overslept and did not go to Mass on Sunday. Yikes!)

Fortunately, I did attend all Scrutinies and a Lenten Retreat where I was able to sit in Adoration and introspect (again something I made a promise to do and have failed abysmally).

There was a nice order to all of the scrunities that I found comfort when we were dismissed to discuss each of them. If you are unfamiliar with a scrunity, it is a privilege that is awarded to those attending RCIA that typically no born-Catholics participate in. Over three weeks, the last three weeks of Lent, on Sunday’s at a specific time, the elect, candidates, and confirmandi are dismissed to discuss the revelations and significance that each scrutiny represents. This is important as they reflect the Sacraments of Initiation that we are due to participate in.

Scrutiny I is the story of Jesus and the Samaritan women at the well. It represents that Jesus is the Living Water, as well as the Sacrament of Baptism. Scrutiny II is the story of the man born blind. Christ is the Light of the World, illuminating the truth of righteousness and divinity in all he does: it is the Sacrament of Confirmation. Lastly, Scrutiny III is the raising of Lazarus from the deadline, which signifies the Sacrament of the Eucharist, in that Christ’s eternal promise to us is eternal life through his sacrifice and his sacraments.

Writing these words does little to translate the crushing enormity of what these truly mean in the course of a life-long quest for spiritual quietude. Talking about the continuum of spiritual that RCIA has outlined really drove home all the points and purposes of what we believe as Catholics. It was spectacular for lack of a more convincing word.

If anything I pray that this is my first of many Lents, my last as an Elect, and the rest that come will see that my cup overfloweth, as it were.

May God bless you and keep you!

References

  1. Catholic Encyclopedia. Scruntiny. New Advent. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13641a.htm
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