Carmelite Musings

By Sister Mary Scholastica, O.C.D

A few months ago, we were taking stock of our lives as we closed out 2021 and entered 2022.  Hopefully, many of us took some time to reflect upon how we wanted to grow in freedom and maturity by looking at the areas both within and outside ourselves that we thought needed to be changed, transformed.

Well, how’s that going?  Are the desires still there?  Are you still engaged?  Still trying?  Still remember?

For those of us who struggle every day, which is everyone reading and not reading this reflection smile, new beginnings are the easy part.  Remember when you were a child and getting ready to start school?  Going shopping for those nice, crisp, new notebooks with pristine white pages inside was a part of the ritual.  Who doesn’t like a fresh clean slate to start with?!?  But as school progresses and your notebook gets grungy from use, there’s something in us that wants to toss it out, get a new one so we can start all over again.  It just makes us feel better. I certainly had a lot of half written notebooks in my life (still do) and judging from the notebooks that are left behind by the students in our schools, I think it may be a common occurrence.

Thinking about this now, there’s something enduring about a grungy notebook that has torn edges with every single one of its pages filled with writing.  It represents perseverance, hard work, staying engaged to the end.  How amazing, really.

As we continue to prepare for Lent, pick up your half-used or quarter-used notebook (literally and figuratively) and continue persevering through the story of your life.  It’s just one page at a time.  Live today well and try to be better tomorrow.  And if you fall, get up again, turn the page and write down another part of your story.  It is my great hope and prayer that at the end of my life and yours, as we come before our Lord with our grungy notebook, we will have writing in it all the way to the very end.  He will see the smudges, some ripped and incomplete pages, the musings, the doodling in the margins and know that it reflects a life well lived, someone who struggled and got back up again and again and again and persevered to the very end.