The Journey of Lent

Stan and Karen Sluder at the Scholarship Ball
Stan and Karen Sluder at the Scholarship Ball

By Stan Sluder | Mr. Sluder works for Peoples Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He and his wife Karen have three children. Their two daughters, Brianna and Sarah, attend Benedictine College.

This first weekend in Lent I will be remembering my most recent weekend at Benedictine College.

It was a great weekend in Atchison and Overland Park for the Scholarship Ball, spending time with my daughters and the incredible community of Benedictine College.  The weekend was capped off with a wonderful celebration of the Mass at the Abbey.”  Father Brendan Rolling in his homily talked about the honor of walking a mile with the students and community of the College.  I was reminded that we are called to “walk a mile with our brothers and sisters.”

The word that really stuck me is “with” — not “for” or “instead of,” but “with.”

Our walk in this world is unique and individual and while I have been blessed with an immense amount of love and support on my walk thus far, I still have to walk it.   Simon carried Christ’s cross but he did not carry Christ.  As I  look toward Lent and my journey to the top of Calvary, I was reminded of three things:

  • I have to make the journey. No one can make it for me. Only if I do the work to get to the top of that dreadful hill do I get to see the amazing glory of Easter.  There is no path to the glory of Easter that does not first pass through the passion of Good Friday. It would be easy to be afraid of the journey — the road is hard the burden is heavy — but the grace and blessings at the end are immeasurable.
  • I do not have to walk alone, I can and should choose carefully those that I want to walk with, those that might help with the weight of the cross or help me keep my eyes steadily focused on the destination.
  • Those that I love need to be able to count on me to help them along the way. With encouragement and prayer I can be Simon to others and answer the call of Christ’s message for me in the Gospel. I am called to love by Christ, not only to love my friends but my enemies as well.

As we begin our Lenten journey let us not forget the purpose of the trip. We walk in a community of believers making the same strides, stumbling on the same stones. As we walk we have support and aid from others, but we each have our own journey to make. What an honor it is to walk together toward Christ!

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.