Engaging the Lenten Journey
Welcome to Ash Wednesday—the first day of the Lenten season. Have you given much thought to your Lenten practice this year? What are you going to do differently, what are you giving up, and how are you making a different space for God in your daily life?
It’s important for us to step out of the ordinary routine of our daily lives from time to time and Lent affords us this blessing. It calls us to walk the desert journey with Christ and prayerfully reflect on the meaning of his life’s reality—suffering, death and resurrection.
No one did that better than St Francis himself. There is a story that relates how a brother watched the saint in prayer and heard him pray the words, “Who are you, Lord my God, and who am I?” These two questions are so fundamental to our life as Christians and the faith we profess. Lent can be transforming if we would only sit and ponder these two questions: Who are you, O God? and Who Am I, O God?
Have you given any thought as to how you’re going to use the gifts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to work on your own spiritual life and relationship with God? Whatever you choose, make it work for you without becoming such a burden that you become a Lent burnout.
Social media has oodles of ideas and suggestions for Lent. One of my favorites is the “40 Bags in 40 Days” challenge where instead of giving up sweets, you give up clutter…and give it to those in need. Or there is the challenge to “Change your Impact on the Climate” by taking up alternative forms of transportation, give up single use plastic, live locally, buy nothing new, give up meat, or give up electricity for an hour every day. (livinglent.org). Or what better than pondering Pope Francis’ 11 suggestions of “Fasting for Lent.” (www.facebook.com/gracepeacelove).
I would also direct your attention to A Nun’s Life Ministry. Visit our website at aNunsLife.org, and type the word “Lent” in the search box. You will uncover multiple resources of blogs, podcasts and videos for your own reflection. Do you want to know what Nuns do for Lent? Follow us on social media and journey weekly with Sister Max as she shares how she is using the gifts of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to nurture her spiritual life.
Do you see the season of Lent as a burden or as a blessing? How are you going to walk through these 40 days with Jesus and then live the next 325 days of the year as a blessing to others?
Let us continue to pray for one another.