20 February 2007
First of all, this stationary is not my fault, and I accept no responsibility for its old-fashioned, arts-n-crafts kitch. You'll just have to imagine the watermarked, gold-embossed letterhead I would be using if I didn't have so many, less worthy materials. But the main thing isn't the paper at all, is it? What we really care about are these strange-looking scribbles I'm making on top of it. And so...
It was so good to see you on Sunday! You, my dear friend, never fail to brighten my day with your presence, and such was made all the brighter on top of such a glorious Mass. Thank you for being the man you are--loving, sincere, funny, joyful, philosophizing, faithful, caring..a genuinely wonderful human being. There, I've said it--now never forget who you are or what you're worth! "But Kirstine!" you say, "That's not I really am!" True enough-you are both less and much more than that, aren't you? A son of Adam and a son of God, member of Christ Himself.
All which is good and beautiful in you (and there is much), God glorifies and encorporates into Himself for His own glory, making you a participant in His own life. All which is broken and disordered, He asks you to give Him, too, that He might bear it to Calvary and there transform it into grace. This is what it means to be a member of Christ--or at least one of the mainings--to have every moment and action of our life be united to every moment and action of His life. This is who you are, and whom I have watched (for a few fleeting months) grow into fuller and fuller maturity. You are beautiful--embrace the Cross, rejoice in it, savor it, for it is the turning point of everything! That is, for me, what Lent is about -- the transformation of death to life which takes place on the Cross.
But I ramble. All I really wanted to do, Alan, was to encourage you in this season of purification and preparation. This is an exciting time--such an exciting time--and you should take it as a gift. Through prayer and penance, make ready your heart to receive the Lord in the Sacraments. "He must increase, and [you] must decrease," but keep in mind that dying to self must be in the context of faith, hope and love. The crucifixion is folly without the resurrection. Penance means nothing outside the context of the love of God. When we walk this path to Calvary, dark and painful and lonely though it may be, we do it still in hope and out of love, because we know that such a death leads to (nay, promises!) SUCH a LIFE! And we are never alone, because Christ has trod and is treading with us these same steps.
I'm not being coherent as I'd hoped to be, but I trust you'll see through my exclamations and read what you need to hear. I really can't tell you how ecited I am to be able to see you received into full communion with the Church. As silly as it sounds, this is one of the best gifts I have ever received, and I'm not hte one receiving it! :-)
May the Lord richly bless your Lent, my friend, and may He continue to shower His graces upon you as you prepare to give Him your heart and receive His own heart in return. He loves you! If you need an ear or a shoulder or a prayer or anything else, please don't hesitate to give me a call. Stop by before/after class (RCIA) if you have the time! We'll be here, and we'd love to have you.
Much love and many prayers, my dear soon-to-be Catholic!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Lenten Letter from an old friend
I found this letter while digging around some old boxes at home. And it was exactly what I needed. This comes from now Sr. Maria Cecelia of the Body of Christ, now a Passionist novice. I have left this unedited. This year I am privileged to have another few friends joining the Church, and I only wish I could write something as heart-felt and honest as this.
Posted by A.Stout at 4:32 PM