In Honor of Lent

A Message From Sr. Mary Lou Mitchell, SSJ PhD RN, Director of Pastoral Care,
and the entire Pastoral Care Team at St. Ann’s Community

 

 Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. It is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, self-denial and spiritual discipline.  As we begin this season the Pastoral Care Staff identified the importance of recognizing that we are all composed of strengths and weaknesses; yet, we do not need to be ashamed of this reality.  Rather, in recognizing that God loves us in the midst of our humanness and it is this love that empowers us to be our best selves.  Our cracks may never leave us. However, because we are aware of them we are not hampered by them. If you have a chance over the next six weeks take a moment and gaze upon the Lenten scene outside the chapels at Cherry Ridge or St. Ann’s and consider how God is able to work thru us in the midst of whatever we struggle with.

 


 

The Story of the Cracked Pot A water bearer in India had two large pots; each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.  At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.  For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and half pots full of water to his house.  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made.  But poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer by the stream, saying, “I am ashamed of myself, and want to apologize to you.  I have been able to deliver only half of my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.  Because of my imperfections, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your flaws, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them.  For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.  Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.

– Author Unknown

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