The Week 24 guide for the Online Retreat in Everyday Life is here.

I resist change, and, if I’m truthful, I resist authority. I don’t mean to…it just seems to be how I’m wired.

During my Christian, and particularly my Catholic, journey, I’ve been shocked to experience the freedom that comes from trust in God. I was an enlightened woman, after all, and I remember so well the convictions that (a) I didn’t need anyone else to make my life complete and (b) I could do it all myself. In my journey with God, I’ve found that letting go and letting God, though easier said than done, truly frees me.

In the “rules,” those things I always thought were restrictive before, I find the burden removed from my shoulders and placed on the shoulders of the One who can carry it with ease. When I look to Jesus, in light of the theme of confrontation, I don’t hear arguing and screaming as I would have in the past; instead, I see sadness in his eyes as he tries, patiently and persistently, to present Truth.

Jesus experienced conflict, and as I look to him in his times of conflict, I need to take lessons. He didn’t back down, but at the same time he never stopped loving those he was in conflict with. He looked them in the eye, and he was always open to their acceptance of the Truth he presented. Though he is angry, and he had to be frustrated as well, he does not let the feelings propel him over the edge.

This week, Lent begins. Our journey in this retreat is going to intensify, and we know where it will lead, don’t we? Lent leads to the Passion and the Crucifixion. There’s a temptation to duck away, to avoid the pain. Jesus reminds us, this week, that our fears — and our anger, temptation, and opposition — must be faced squarely.

“This week,” we read this week, “we let ourselves be inspired by the heroic in Jesus.” While we are inspired, what in us will change and shift, allowing us a closer and deeper relationship with Jesus?