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2nd Sunday of Lent Reflection/Genesis 22.1-2,9-13,15-18

Jeanne, Associate, Prince Edward Island

I have been an Associate since the early 1980's. My first husband, Jerry Gauthier, was also an associate. He died suddenly on his birthday May 29, 1990.  We have 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. I married again in 1997. My second husband died in 2008. I married for the third time in April, 2017. So, I have step children and step grandchildren. I never planned to marry a second time let alone a third but the Spirit brought these special men into my life. My Associate group, the Linden Group, Charlottetown  PEI, approved both. Aha.

In addition to these grief journeys, I have been part of a team couple for World Wide Marriage Encounter and marriage preparation. I have also been a lector and a Eucharistic Minister. I have been involved in Ignation Exercises and sharing group. Also, I have been a team member for New Beginnings and Cursillo. Currently, I am a member of the St Vincent de Paul Society of St. Pius X Parish and a volunteer with Pastoral Spiritual Care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I visit cancer patients. I listen to patients, pray, read scripture, or just "be" whatever the patient and the Holy Spirit guides me to. I receive much more than I give! All these life experiences and the book studies I am involved in help me grow in the awareness that God loves me no matter what! He still has me under construction! ---Jeanne

Growing up, as a teen, a young adult and even a young wife and mother, I found this reading puzzling. These words seemed to reinforce the image I had that God was a stern judge and harsh taskmaster since I could not do what God asked Abraham to do. However, after being on an on-going spiritual journey for many years, now my concept of God--our Creator, Father, Son and Holy Spirit-- is that of a loving, supportive, friend and when necessary challenging mentor.

Reflecting on this reading, this time I was struck by the faith of Abraham. Dwelling on Abraham’s faith enabled me to see how this Old Testament passage fits so well with 12 Step Spirituality, especially the first three steps. Simply put they are:

  1. I cannot manage, fix or control this person or situation
  2. My Creator God can
  3. I will let go and let him/her

To me that is what Abraham did, “you did not withhold from me your own beloved”.  He let go of his son and trusted God to control the outcome.

While these steps are simple to say, I often do not find it easy to live them. Rather, I let my mind be preoccupied with trying to fix a situation that I really have no control over. I just think I do. That is like Isaac in this reading. He was bound and likely anxious.  He had no control.  Maybe he even tried to talk his father out of this. We do not know how he reacted. 

When I strive to fix or control the people, places, and things in my life, I unknowingly separate myself from my/our creator God, Father, Son or Spirit. My mind is too busy finding solutions. My prayers end up with me doing all the talking and not listening. I have learned from experience that my interference can even make things worse.  

However, I am so blessed to have spiritual programs and the Associate Relationship that fairly quickly bring me back to “Let Go and let God “.  Then I can see the “ram caught … in the thicket”. I continue to live and learn over and over again that God often works in unexpected ways. Thus, I am open to receive the abundant blessings that continue to pour into my life.

 

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