When A Little Jab Gets Our Attention… Easter
Dr. Rick Petronella
|Growing up in an Italian family with 6 kids, there was never a dull moment. My brothers and I went to an all-boys Catholic High School. Before you feel sorry for us, there were also three all-girls Catholic High Schools not too far off. Our family grew up Catholic. My grandparents are from Sicily. My mother would make us sit up like soldiers during long prayer services.|
There happened to be a lady in our parish that seemed to make her way into our pew every week. she would find her way next to our family choosing to sit next to us kids. Visualize six children and my parents. That almost took up the entire pew. This woman chose to sit beside one of us children when she felt moved to add an exclamation point to what had been said, she would elbow my brother or one of us boys in the side. Week after week one of us kids would be elbowed by this woman. I sometimes wondered if she was a divine appointment. For years my brothers and I coped with the painful impact of those elbow jabs through the Mass.
Sometimes though we need an elbow jab to stir us out of our routine. We celebrate Easter every year. It is a wonderful family moment with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, ham and jelly beans. However, for many, it is a day that just comes and goes the Christian faith challenges us to not minimize the significance of the crucifixion and resurrection by setting aside fifty days for the Easter Season. It is a time of hope, of new life, and of new beginnings.
The season of Easter gives us all the opportunity each year to renew our commitment whatever our spiritual journey has been. We do so when we reaffirm our belief expressed in the worship, which we do at the Easter season.This season always occurs in the early Spring which seems slow in coming. We yearn for the warmth and flowers of May. But we must wait a bit longer. Easter encourages us to be patient. If we have faith in Christ crucified yet risen despite the cloudiness surrounding us in weather and circumstances, they will not overwhelm us.
St. Mother Teresa once suggested that we be the sunshine of God’s love for others. She wrote, “We wait impatiently for the paradise where God is, but we have it in our power to be in paradise with Him right now: being happy with Him means to love as He loves, to help as He helps, to give as He gives, to serve as He serves.”
Christians have been referred to as “Easter people”. There is much in our world and culture today that make many worry, even despair. That is not the response of Easter people. It is in our power, with Christ’s example and continuing, to bring light and life into our own lives, and life to those whose lives we touch. Sometimes we need to experience an elbow in the side to remind us of the wonderful gift that each of us have within ourselves to love others and see the bigger picture of what God has done in our faith through Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, who died on the cross and rose for our salvation.
We have so much to be grateful for. Let’s celebrate the good things in our lives. In doing so, we can overcome the more challenging moments.
Are You “On Purpose”?
|“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”–Napoleon Hill|
Do you love what you do for a living? Do you look forward to going to work every day or do you grudgingly show up in order to pay the bills? Do you work past quitting time because it’s expected or because you’re “into it” and lost track of time? Many people know their calling in life, their true purpose, and live “on purpose.” Are you one of them?
Take this True or False Self-Quiz to determine whether you are operating from a place of purpose.
1. When I get up in the morning I look forward to the day ahead, whether it’s a work day or my day off.2. I love the work I do — any external reward I receive I consider “the icing on the cake.”
3. My work makes me feel rewarded and motivated rather than drained and exhausted.
4. When I have spare time I participate in activities that I’m passionate about, and those activities reflect my purpose.
5. I know what my greatest talents and strengths are, and I apply those attributes to my work in some capacity every day.
6. I know I’m living my true purpose when others notice and compliment me on my abilities.
7. My life, personal and professional, reflects and is in alignment with my core values.
8. I consistently base my decisions on my beliefs, not on the expectations of others, and, overall, I’m happy with the outcomes.
9. If money were not an issue I wouldn’t change much about what I do and how I do it.
10. My work environment is supportive of my personality and talents and allows me to not only show up as my true self but to perform at my optimal level.
11. When my work environment fails to provide me with opportunities to utilize my unique abilities, I look to make a positive change.
12. The good (and great days) at work far outweigh the occasional “bad” days.
13. My work is enjoyable and often feels like play.
14. By fulfilling my own dreams and desires, I am making a positive contribution to the world as a whole.
15. Determining one’s life purpose can take a long time, but I’m confident that, even when I question what my purpose is, I know that I have one.
If you answered false to many of these, you may benefit from discovering how to live a life on purpose. Living a purposeful life is as much about how things are done (with love, attention, passion and focus for example) as it is about what is done. It’s also a great way to feel fulfilled regardless of the “job” you may find yourself in.