Today (for most readers, yesterday) began the great penitential season of Lent. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to give the midday Examen prayers here at St. Ignatius in this week kicking off the Lenten journey. I’ve decided to share my three reflections with you here. (Remember they are given as a guided prayer, so perhaps you should read them as such.)
I. Given “Shrove” Tuesday, 2/21
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. How do we prepare for the Lenten season?
Perhaps we should ask, what is the point of Lent? Is it something people make us do to feel bad, some authoritarian masochism? No. Is it atonement for my sins and the sins of others? Yes, but more.
Ultimately, Lent is about the question: Where do I need to make room for God in my life?
Ask yourself this question. Where do I need to make room for God in my life?
Do I have some habits that get in the way of God’s speaking to me? Perhaps: Laziness with homework, household chores, keeping up friendships; spending too much time in front of the TV, on video games, on the internet; overworking or spending too much time away from family; neglect of those who have less than I do; taking lightly God and the Church, especially Sunday Mass?
Do I lack some practices that might allow God to draw closer to me? Especially daily prayer and Sunday Eucharist; also respect for parents, love of family members, goodness to friends; openness and kindness with strangers/those who are different from me, especially the poor.
Take a moment to look at your own life and see where you can better let God in.
Choose one of these areas of your life. Tomorrow, at the all-school Ash Wednesday Mass, offer one of these areas of your life up to God [hopefully the readers already did this!], and resolve during these 40 Lenten days to let God work in that area of your life. Stay with this commitment over the next six weeks of preparing for the Paschal Triduum.
God bless you during this holy season.
St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us. +