Teeth, by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Choppers, canines, pearly whites, whatever you like to call them, they are vital to your health and well-being. It is why your mother called up to you every night, “Did you brush your teeth?”  I think the first lie any of us told was in the answer we gave.  “Yes, I did.”  However, the toothbrush was a dry as dust!

Christopher Curtis wrote this:

Six is a bad time ‘cause that’s when some real scary things start to happen to your body. It’s around then that your teeth start to coming a-loose in your mouth.

You wake up one morning and it seems like your tongue is the first one to notice that something strange is going on, ‘cause as soon as you get up there it is pushing and rubbing up against one of your front teeth and I’ll be doggoned if that tooth isn’t the littlest bit wiggly.

At first you think it’s kind of funny, but the tooth keeps getting loser and looser and one day, in the middle of pushing the tooth back and forth and squinching your eyes shut, you pull it clean out! It’s the scariest thing you can think of cause you lose control of your tongue at the same time and no matter how hard you try to stop it, it won’t leave the new hole in your mouth alone, it keeps digging around in the spot where that tooth used to be.

You tell some adult about what is happening but all they do is say it’s normal. You can’t be too sure though ‘cause it shakes you up a whole lot more than grown folks think it does when perfectly good parts of your body commence to loosening up and falling off you.

Whether you are six, twenty-six, fifty-six or ninety-six, losing a tooth has something to tell you.  Maybe you are actually having a tooth pulled.  I do not mean that kind of pulling.  Let me explain the tooth story for you.

Let’s suppose that the tooth on the way to coming “a-loose,” is some very bad habit you have.  At first, it was not a habit.  It was just something naughty that happened only once.  There was something about it though that seemed if not good, at least pleasant.  So you wiggle the habit back and forth with that wishy-washy tongue of yours called the conscience.  Each time it gets easier to do.

Finally, with much effort, the habit falls out and you are forced to look at it.  Your conscience plays with the empty space, and if you have called on the powers that are at your beck and call, you will try to see that something else needs to fill that space where the front tooth or bad habit used to be.

Wouldn’t it be something if every bad or sinful habit showed on your face?  Jealousy would make a front tooth green.  A bright red tooth would indicate greed.  Pride, that sin that says, “I do not have any bad habits or sinfulness,” would show up as broken black teeth whenever a person did not acknowledge Pride.

What a wonderful time is given to us to review all our attitudes, our wishes, our actions, and thoughts. Lent is that time. Just as the six-year old will be surprised because another tooth has popped in the space where one was lost, So we can be surprised at how the Holy Spirit, gift of Jesus to us, will pop up and strengthen whatever we make efforts to develop.

If only we could see how the Spirit works in our lives, we would be totally amazed.  Find God everywhere and you will be praying always.

Blessings on you and your Lenten Practices!  If you really do practice, you should be experts at keeping your resolutions when Easter arrives.  Your smile will be radiant, and the love of God will be shining through!

Peace, Joy and Everything Good,

Sharonlu OSF

 

Resolutions? Why? by S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

Crucifix Statue in the Oldenburg OSF CemeteryEvery month I get a little book called Magnificat.  It is a gift subscription from a friend.  At the beginning of the booklet there is always a short meditative editorial.  This is followed by an essay on a topic that coincides with the month’s Church theme.

The essays are very good, but last year a guest author wrote on why we make Lenten resolutions.  I was floored when I saw myself in the category of the poorest resolutions.

The author wrote that the season of Lent is NOT for self-improvement.  WOW!  That has been my purpose for years.  If I decide to exercise more, to lose weight, to give up desserts, I am doing that for myself!  Strengthening my relationship with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, with God, is what ought to be my goal in Lent.

If my resolution were to spend 1/2 hour in prayer every evening talking to and listening to what God has to say about my life; if I visited shut-ins or helped at a shelter so I could see the poverty of Jesus in the people I am with; if I read the Bible or a spiritual reading book for 1 hour each day, or sacrificed an evening out to have a bit extra to give those in real need, I might have a very different feeling when Easter came.

God loves each of us as if we were the only human being on Earth.  If you really believed that, you might find yourself clinging to the idea of God’s presence all around you.  Jesus would be on your mind as much as your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend would have been on your mind during your courtship.  You doodled his/her name on the pad by the phone, you called on the phone daily if not more, and you shared all things with that person.  You were delighted in how this wonderful one was interested in all you had to say or do.

Wouldn’t it be a better resolution if we were to strive to be as close to Jesus as Francis was.  Francis even had the wounds of crucifixion on his body.  We might at least accept criticism, disappointments, body aches or loneliness without complaint.  Jesus loves you so much.  Return that love with all your heart and what an EASTER you will celebrate!

Peace, Joy, and Everything Good,

S. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF

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Sr. Sharonlu Sheridan, OSF has a background in education, child development, and family ministries.  She has worked as a teacher, school administrator, and as Director of Family Life Services for two dioceses.  Sr. Sharonlu has long been an advocate for children and puts her heart into helping parents build and sustain healthy family relationships.  One of her most memorable ministries has been with the people of Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota, where her heart still lies.

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