Making the Most Out of Lent
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 27, 2022
There is no other six-week period in the liturgical year when the majority of us together are working on something with the Lord. We don’t want to miss the opportunity of Lent and the great gift it represents in our walk with Christ. Every year we can ask the Lord this question: What is that special project that you and I are going to work on together this Lent, Lord?
The real question in the spiritual life is always how well do we really know ourselves. Only the Holy Spirit can guide us into that which needs renewal this year and can give us fruitfulness in dealing with it. So at the beginning of Lent, it is imperative that we pray for an enlightenment from the Spirit to see ourselves as we really are, both our virtues and what is impeding our relationship with God, because a Lenten sacrifice has so much power before God. What is out of balance in my life?
Spiritual Nourishment: What is nourishing my soul, or impoverishing it? Is the media in my life out of balance to the detriment of prayer? Do I visit websites or see movies that do violence to my walk with Christ? Lent is a time to balance this out with good Christian media (like Formed, which is available to you free on our website), books, and a greater emphasis on the family. We all recognize that we will become ill if we eat poorly, but many do not recognize that spiritual poverty which can creep up on us.
Prayer: How do I pray? Mass will be fruitful to the extent that I have an outside relationship with God through prayer. By attending or at least reading the daily Mass scriptures each day we will become ever closer to the thoughts of Christ. A good way to receive the daily Mass readings is by using this website: www.dailygospel.org. In addition, Jesus is always waiting for us in the Blessed Sacrament. In our parish, we have the great gift of having a chapel always open for you. Lent is an opportunity to try a new form of prayer: the Rosary, Lectio Divina with Scripture, spiritual reading, meditation; the possibilities are endless.
Almsgiving: Reviewing our tithing of time and talent is always appropriate for Lent. Is there a particular area of my life where God wishes me to be more generous? In what way am I being called to live the gospel in concrete external ways? All of us, one way or another have a mission in life for others: family, friends, strangers, co-workers, schoolmates, enemies. Tithing is one way to fulfill this mission, and there are many others.
Fasting: The best fast is to fast from some sin that has become habitual. Is there an area of food or drink that has become unbalanced or addictive? Is God calling on me to take steps to break this habit once and for all? Perhaps the whole future depends on it! Fasting makes room for God. Voluntary fasting of some kind helps us when life deals us with fasts that we don’t choose.