Every few years, my daughter (with special needs) has a birthday that falls on Good Friday. I have been constantly impressed with her commitment to keep her fast on that day, rather than celebrating her birthday. This child, who often misses the details of how someone feels, or what is appropriate social behavior, never misses this spiritual opportunity to put her faith first.
Sometimes, I can forget the gifts that my child with special needs has, but this is one circumstance where my daughter’s gift of faith shines so brightly that everyone can see it and is drawn to her beautiful inner light. On the year my Anya-Marie turned thirteen on Good Friday, she explained it this way: “It’s not so bad, cuz we celebrate on Easter and I get a bunny cake.”
It is easy to make excuses to bend the rules on abstinence of meat on Fridays, or convince ourselves that God doesn’t really care about our little sacrifices. However, I think we have it backwards. We say that these things are so small that we can’t imagine Christ would care about them. God sees us and says, These are all such little things; why wouldn’t you increase your relationship with Me over those things? Every act of charity and each act of self-denial adds to the edification of the Body of Christ! They join us to the Lord in His sufferings, strengthen our spiritual muscles, and help us focus on heaven (rather than momentary pleasures of this world).
This year, Anya’s 15th birthday will be on a Sunday! She is so excited to celebrate it. I hope you all have a blessed Lenten season and enjoy the glory of the resurrection, the way I know my daughter will! God bless!
Mary Lou Rosien