What Will You Gain This Lenten Season?

The Fight Between Carnival and Lent. Frafment. The Face of Lent, Pieter Bruegel the Elder Year. 1559 retrieved https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Fight_Between_Carnival_and_Lent._Frafment._The_Face_of_Lent.png

As we prepare for another Lenten journey, we may be pondering about what it is we will give up in order to walk alongside our Lord during these next 40 days.

While we may fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays with one meal and two light meals, the church doesn’t require much from us in terms of what we must give up. Such a season reminds us of the necessity to give alms to the poor, enter more deeply in prayer and conduct acts of penance. While we can certainly give up items such as chocolate, coffee, or our favorite television shows, one has to ask what are we gaining by giving up such luxuries?

The first reading from the prophet Joel on this Ash Wednesday reminds us to return to the Lord with full hearts. “Rend your hearts, not your garments…” says the prophet (Jl. 2:13). In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus reminds us not to be like the hypocrites in giving alms in blowing a trumpet (Mt. 6:2). Jesus reminds us to not make our prayer a big production and instead instructs us to “go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret” (Mt. 6:6).

This Lenten season we should be asking ourselves what can be gained in furthering our relationship with our Lord. As John the Baptist reminds us, He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30). How will we decrease and humble ourselves so that an increase can be made with growing our relationship with Jesus? Here are some suggestions for this Lenten season for gaining a more deeper relationship with our Lord:

Spend more time in prayer and meditate upon the scripture or daily readings together as a family and the readings before mass.

Unplug from technology and meditate upon the stations of the cross or the 7 last words (phrases) of Jesus (https://aleteia.org/2017/04/14/with-his-7-last-words-jesus-speaks-to-us-all/).

Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation & make a 40 day commitment to avoid that one repeated sin

Conduct an act of kindness in your family or community and tithe to a local charity with not only money, but your time as well.

Get involved with a faith sharing group

Reach out to a neighbor and invite them to dinner

Read a spiritual book or learn about a spiritual component of our faith

Start a spiritual prayer journal of where you are at now and where you hope to be at the end of 40 days in preparation for the Paschal Triduum

A good prayer to start this Lenten season from Dynamic Catholic is the following:

“God of goodness and mercy, Hear my prayer as I begin this Lenten journey with you. Let me be honest with myself as I look into my heart and soul, noticing the times I turn away from you. Guide me as I humbly seek to repent and return to your love. May humility guide my efforts to be reconciled with you and live forever in your abundant grace. Transform me this Lent, heavenly Father. Give me the strength to commit myself to grow closer to you each day. Amen.” https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/lent/prayers-for-lent.html#ash-wednesday

Published by StreetEvangelist

A Roman Catholic Christian living in the TX, USA area seeking to make the world a better place. Our call to mission as being made in the image and likeness of God is two-fold: to have authentic relationships with our fellow man, and to have an authentic personal encounter with our living God through His Son Jesus Christ who is, who was and who will always be. Let us not bicker, spew hate, or worry about trivial matters when we can become better images of our self to walk humbly with our loving God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: