I was 18, and eager to be trained to a deeper spiritual life. Not wanting to be a nun, I found a place where this could happen within my Catholic tradition, as a laywoman. I wanted to be effective to help change the world that even in 1950 seem to need a sort of spiritual revolution to transform the materialism that was consuming us after the WWII Western victory in 1945.
On Ash Wednesday, as Lent began, I was privileged to go to a small farm on a very steep hill with a group of 15. On the morning of this 1st Monday of Lent I had the job to feed the male goat and male sheep who grazed alone on the lower hill, segregated substantially from the ewes and nannies on the upper hill.
I carried 2 buckets of grain, opened the gate and placed one bucket in front of the goat, Solomon, and another in front of the sheep whose name, if I ever knew it, disappeared from mind long ago. Not so Solomon! As soon as I stepped back from the sheep, Solomon raced over, butted the sheep out of the way, ate his food and then sauntered back to his own bucket. Wow! I learned there that I had to hold Solomon, smelly male goat that he was, so the sheep could eat.
After doing my chores I went inside to join the group of 15 as we stood around and read the Scripture readings for the day to prepare for our trek to Mass. I don’t remember the 1st reading, but the power of the 2nd from the gospel of Matthew was indelible. MT 25:31-46
It was the parable about the last judgment and the difference between sheep and goats.
This was sure something to put into the marrow of my being. There the message still ignites. It is what we read still today, on this 1st Monday of Lent 2013.