Ice, snow, no electricity, no water, schools, churches and business shut down. The recent week-long Arctic blast was the start of a Lenten season that I have never experienced before. The freezing temperatures presented many challenges for us in Texas and other southern states that rarely experience such frigid weather. However, being shut in with no place to go and minimal distractions turned out to be a blessing! My prayer life was more focused, plus I had more time to write, which was something I was longing for.
You see, weeks before Lent started, I came across a Catholic children’s literature writing contest that really grabbed my attention. My faith and children’s literature are two of my passions, and I desperately wanted to participate! However, I knew that it would be near impossible to take on this challenge because along with working a full-time job (that does not have to do with writing), I had a deadline for another major writing project due the first week of Lent, and I just flat-out would not have the time.
Then the winter storm came.
With lots of unexpected spare time, and a pencil and notepad, I snuggled up was able to scratch out a first rough draft of a poem to submit to the contest. Each day brought more revisions and new drafts. Ash Wednesday passed with no power and water, but I kept writing. Just before it was time to submit to the contest, our electricity came back on! Not only was I able to submit my poem for the contest, but I also was able to meet my other writing deadline! God is good!
I hope you enjoy my submission, The King, and be sure to check out the host of the contest, Theresa Kiser, as well as the other wonderful authors that took part. I wish you all a blessed Lent!
Within a cave of winter cold,
A newborn King gets gift of gold.
The babe is our Lord,
Who escaped the sword,
Because his dad does what he’s told.
The King grows up and fasts and prays,
Within the desert, forty days.
Temptation then came,
But he beat the game,
Because he minds The Father’s ways.
The King does heal and teach and feed,
He’s hailed with palms; beaten with reed.
The crowd screams, Yes, kill!
Then his blood does spill,
Because of fear and hate and greed.
The King is slain and put in grave,
By everyone he came to save.
And though he is dead,
There’s nothing to dread,
Because he rose and us forgave!
Within a Lent of winter cold,
Let’s rend our hearts; do what we’re told.
We’ll fast, and we’ll pray,
Forgive the wrong way,
And give The King our gifts of gold.
I learned the beautiful prayer “Hail, Holy Queen” as an adult, by hearing it prayed by others in prayer groups and on EWTN’s broadcast of the Rosary. I’ve always thought of it as referring to the state of our life here on earth before we see Jesus in heaven (“…show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus…”). I see it in another light now because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading →
We are in a time when we cannot go to our normal place of worship and celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the rest of our church community. Yet the third commandment tells us that we are to keep holy the sabbath day! It has been suggested that we watch Mass online or on TV. This is a wonderful opportunity for the domestic Church (which is the family) to delve deeper into the beauty of the Mass.
Below are suggested tips for reverently viewing Mass from home. Be sure to read them all well in advance and have the children help get things ready. Most all the tips are very kid-friendly, and they will truly enjoy the Mass much more if they help prepare! Continue reading →
“Mmm….just right!” your mouth tells you as you take a sip of the perfect latte, cappuccino, coffee, hot tea or whatever you start your day with. But if there’s too much sugar, not enough cream, or the temperature is too cold or too hot, it can throw a wrench in the works. You mumble & grumble and pour and stir until you get it just right. How do I know? Because I find myself scrupulously preparing my cup of morning brew! Continue reading →
As a track coach I preach and preach to my athletes about the importance of strong finishes. Digging down deep and giving it your all as you close in on the finish line can make a big difference. Strong finishes are about determination and courage. Perseverance and focus. Discipline and commitment.
Strong finishes of course don’t just pertain to races on the track, but to projects and commitments we make throughout life, like the finish line that is fast approaching; Yes, the end of Lent is just around the corner with Holy Week and Easter on the horizon. Continue reading →
A large crowd followed and pressed around him.(Mark 5:24) And understandably so. Jesus had just healed a man possessed with numerous demons and was on his way to the house of a synagogue official who had begged him to heal his gravely ill daughter.
Holy Week officially started this Sunday with the glorious palm branch entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and will end with the passion, death and then resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday. Leading up to Holy Week, I felt called to focus on two things. The words Holy and Weak. No, that was not a typo. I do mean weak, not week. Continue reading →