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catThe alarm on my new phone woke me unexpectedly this morning at 6:00. As I groaned and tried to go back to sleep because the weather promised to keep me home today, my mind took over and, among many racing thoughts, reminded me of my New Year’s resolution to get up at 6:00 or 6:30 each day. It is the only way, it seems, to complete all my intended spiritual practices before the day takes over. By 6:15 I had surrendered and was drinking my first cup of coffee, a bit groggy but grateful nonetheless.

As the Scriptures focus on the journey of Jesus toward Jerusalem during these Lenten days, there is often talk of “enemies” and their attempts to discredit or capture Jesus. This morning I was taken by the lines of the responsorial psalm (PS 31: 5-6).

So spring me from the many traps my enemies have set for me; protect me in the refuge of your care. Into your strong hands I offer up my spirit now. O rescue me, my God of truth.

While I can’t say I encounter enemies who would be setting traps for me as I go about my days, my early moments of consciousness this morning got me thinking about “inner enemies” or what I learned in my youth to regard as “the seven deadly sins.” The lassitude that almost kept me from acting as my best self today might not qualify as sloth but it certainly could become the habit of laziness. There are always excuses at the ready: jetlag, a busy day yesterday, aching joints caused by the weather…so it doesn’t hurt to do a quick check of motivation or lack thereof on days like this. Actually today I’m grateful for it and a list of projects is already forming in my mind. So, having been rescued, I’m off now to meet God in my centering prayer time!