With its calls to conversion, Lent comes providentially to rouse us, to shake us from our torpor, from the risk of moving forward [merely] by inertia. The exhortation that the Lord speaks to us through the prophet Joel is loud and clear: "Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). Why must we return to God? Because something is wrong in us, in society, in the Church - and we need to change, to turn things around, to repent! Once again Lent comes to make its prophetic appeal, to remind us that it is possible to realize something new within ourselves and around us, simply because God is faithful, continues to be full of goodness and mercy, and is always ready to forgive and start over from scratch. With this filial confidence, let us set out on our way! - Pope Francis
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
What Did You Hear? - Ash Wednesday
Our Parochial Vicar had 8 o'clock Mass this morning. I really enjoy his homilies. He tries to use each instance as a teaching moment. I always come away with new thoughts to ponder.
Today wasn't so much new as it was a reminder. He reminded us that when we are giving things up for Lent, we should be truthful in that. It would make no sense to give up martinis and then replace that with beer or wine. He also talked about removing something but remembering to add something in its place. If we give up TV in the evening, we should find a productive way to spend the time, perhaps in family prayer.
Ultimately, we should remember that we do all of this...fasting, abstaining, giving up or adding things; to grow closer to God and to prepare for His death and resurrection. This is such a good reminder for me. Sometimes I just want to "check off the box" for what I did each day of Lent and I wonder if it really brought me closer to God.
So, even though I lost our "color in 40 days of Lent" crosses and "glue a marshmallow on the sheep" countdown to Easter pages, we will press on. I will use the time to sit and talk to my kids about preparation and turning to God and relying on Him...in Lent and always.
Tools are good, for little and big people. Still, if I am reading a "daily reflection" that fails to inspire (I think my current choice fits) I may better spend the time saying a rosary or visiting Our Lord at Adoration. I think, in the end, I am trying to be more deliberate in my living during these days. I hope that example and those moments of teaching will help my kids as well.
I am blessed.