Taking Stock

February 5, 2019


Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events
that have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning
and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,
I too have decided,
after investigating everything accurately anew,
to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
most excellent Theophilus, 
so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings
you have received. 
(Luke 1:1-4)
 
The Gospel today starts in an interesting way. First, we hear the very first words of Luke and then jump to the 4th Chapter. As a part of his introduction, St. Luke writes, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you… He let Theophilus know that this book he is writing comes from investigation and reflection on those events that happened earlier, during Jesus’ life on earth.
 
In thinking about this, it occurred to me that this might be something good for all of us to consider during Ordinary Time and anticipating the Lenten Season coming soon. My thought is this – It might be good to take some time in this winter season and reflect upon our past, writing down a “spiritual biography” of how we have progressed in our lives with regard to our relationship with the Lord. This might help us to better see how we are doing spiritually now.
 
We can begin with our baptism and think about our growing up years. Did we maintain our faith, wander away from time to time, or, perhaps, dump it completely? How did our family life contribute positively or negatively to our Christian formation? Were there things that happened then which continue to influence us today?
 
As we proceed through our teen, young adult and adult years, the same questions could apply with regard to friends, family, marriage, children, etc. How did they contribute positively or negatively? 
 
I personally recommend writing this down. Talk about your life chronologically with respect to your faith. It is interesting to look back and see patterns, values, and graces revealed. This also will help you to then look forward to the future and where you want to head in your spiritual development. Do you want to get some assistance through a spiritual director, change you time allocations for Scripture, prayer, etc. with regard to media, social and otherwise?
 
With Lent on deck, it’s great to prepare your intentions for that season ahead of time. Are there things from which you will abstain? Are you going to add something into your life – like more time for prayer or Scripture reading? Is there a book (or books) that you would like to read in Lent? 
 
A spiritual biography is not something that you can sit down and do in an hour or afternoon. I suggest taking it in sections and reflect on a piece at a time. I have done this before and plan on doing it again myself.
 
In Christ,
 
Fr. Randy