Updated: Feb 21, 2018
Lent is literally right around the corner, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday! If you haven’t asked yourself a certain question, now would be a good time too.
The question is this: What are your goals this Lent?
If your next question is “We’re supposed to have goals?” then let me explain.
The church, in her wisdom, has given Catholics a time that comes around every year, a time to step back from all the distractions the world so easily provides, to look at ourselves. To see how we are, to see where we’re failing. But it doesn't’ stop there, it also gives us the time to do something about what we find. It is a time for all of us to heal, to go deeper, to bind ourselves more fully to God. It is a time of contemplation and a time of penance.
With Lent, we are able to clean out the ‘cobwebs’ in our souls, purge them of any ill attachments, and go through this time of suffering with Jesus, as we await the eventuality of Easter Sunday.
Lent, is a good time to put ourselves through some spiritual work, and a good way to do this would be to give something up.
What does that mean? And why should we do this?
Giving something up which makes our lives more comfortable, and offering it to Jesus in reparation for sin is a form of penance. A way of helping to lessen the debt we owe to God through our sins, which, though already forgiven and forgotten, still carry consequences.
It is also a way to make our resilience to sin stronger, making us better warriors for God’s Kingdom, thus, bettering us for the upcoming spiritual battle to come!
So, now that we know what we should be doing and why during this season of Lent, let’s talk about how.
The temptation I find most in Lent is doing less than I know I can be doing. If I know I can offer up to God the eating of extra meals, the comfort of relaxing and watching more entertainment than necessary, yet all I do is offer up chocolate... something I don’t commonly eat much of anyway... See my point?
We are stronger than we think ourselves to be when it comes to penance.
The temptation to avoid here is thinking we can’t do it. “How will I be able to pray a rosary every day? I can’t take 20 min of my time to do that!” Or “I can’t pray every night before bed, I’m too tired, too...” Fill in the blank.
Whatever it is we choose to do this Lent, that extra something, which will help us grow closer to God, we must come at it with the very mindset of, it will help us grow closer to God! And if that’s not enough to get ourselves into the right gear, then think of what Christ endured for you. The Cross. Having His flesh ripped from his body. Thorns pressing into His skull.
If we are unable to see past our own comfort, then we need to step back until we can. We must see the bigger picture. If you won’t do it for yourself, then to it for the ones you love, be it your family, your spouse. Do it for them, do it for the ones whose souls you are the guardian of. Because the spiritual battle is real, and Lent is the time to strengthen ourselves for it.
God bless you all.