Holy Spirit Interactive
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Inside Holy Spirit Interactive

Reflections

Lenten Journey

by Deacon Thomas Frankenfield

The Ongoing Journey

In many ways, I find it hard to believe that today, I begin my third year with all of you, sharing both my personal reflections on Spirituality and the role of the Holy Spirit in my life/ministry. Over these two years, the rewards of this journey have been many. I have been gifted with severe personal pain physical suffering that has amplified my spiritual growth; aroused my compassion for the handicapped and generated new visions for sharing pain and suffering with all of you.

Additionally, I have been challenged with the joy and struggles of being one of the few Deacons to administer a parish in the absence of a priest. Of course, I thank Aneel Aranha, the founder of HSI, and all of the readers for the great sharing via frequent correspondence and continuing prayer, plus, many other spiritual gifts flowing from people throughout the world.

So, let’s continue with where it all started—the Lenten Journey. The daily fuel of our personal journey with the Lord called “grace” flows from our very personal relationship with Our Lord and in our daily encounters with the People of God the backbone of our Catholic faith. The season of Lent, like all of the Church’s seasons, provides another opportunity to travel on a journey within ourselves to strengthen the bonds relationships with both God and our Christian community. So, let’s look at our personal journeys with Christ during this upcoming season of Lent.

A Call to the Interior

We are all different and that is most evident in where our life's journey may take us. Some travel to many countries of the world or others are called to stay within a few miles from their birthplace. Regardless of the travel and experience, we all encounter and love the Lord in our own special and unique ways.

For me, I am many miles from my birthplace of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as I minister and live in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha in the wintertime can be a frosty and chilly place. This year, this unusual wintry setting is in sharp contrast to our ordinary winter. As I write, the winter winds are howling; the white snowfall covers the landscape and our temperature has not been above the freezing point for over a week. The barren trees, covered with snow; the frozen rivers and the biting wind all dominate our environment.

This kind of weather calls most of us to limit our outside experiences because it is too cold to enjoy the outdoors. (It is also a time to pray for the homeless, that they are healed of their particular afflictions and that life will improve for all of them.) Gloves, scarves, heavy coats and boots are the clothes we wear to survive. For most, we limit our time in the outdoors by staying inside and slowing down our lives.

Specifically, this time inside is a life within boundaries. Yet, living inside is a temporary state that we know will pass and eventually lead us to a greater appreciation of the outdoors. We take new perspectives and often new activities in this short interior time. In much the same way, Lent calls us to set aside time from our experiences and look at our interior lives in a different way.

The Lenten Journey

This journey to the interior of the winter is much like the interior Lenten journey with God that our Church calls us to do each year. The interior part of our journey happens when we take the time to admit that all our surroundings must change and to look deeply inside to a quieter place outside the ordinary surroundings. Even though it may seem uncomfortable to travel inside ourselves, a pathway can be set by releasing our troubles to the Holy Spirit. Faith and trust in God is the key! It is in this awareness that the spiritual rewards can be discovered.

For some it is slowing the pace of our daily routine to make change evolve while for others a new commitment of daily prayer fasting and almsgiving is the call to an interior quiet. Along with our Catholic community, we can take advantage of some of our Church’s Lenten gifts by participating with our brothers and sisters at devotions like daily Mass, Eucharistic Devotions and Stations of the Cross.

Ultimately, it is in the interior life that we find a place to be more aware. So, as we continue our journey through our forty days of Lent, let us break away from the ordinary and take our own personal walks into ourselves. It is there that we can be more present to the Lord.

For Your Reflection


From a Ministry Perspective:

  1. Where in my interior life do I most need to "let go to God" so that I can more appreciate the community I am serving?

  2. In my Lenten journey, how can I model the Church’s Lenten practices and the Holy Spirit's love to those I minister?

From a Family Perspective:

  1. Where does my family most need to "let go to God?"

  2. In my Domestic Church’s as parent, sibling, widow or single, how can I model the Church’s Lenten practices and the Holy Spirit's love?

I would love your feedback, thoughts, stories and ideas. Please email me.

Deacon Tom

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