Some words for the last weeks of Lent…
It doesn’t take long for Lenten commitments to fall by the wayside for many of us. The discipline we choose on Ash Wednesday may by now be a distant memory or even tucked away for “next year”. But Jesus kept his fast, for forty days and forty nights. He was clear and committed to beginning his public ministry grounded in his relationship with his Father, a vision more important than anything else. Even hunger.
Lent challenges us to prayerfully, consciously discern what is most important and then to dedicate ourselves to making it a priority in our daily lives. In order to faithfully accomplish what is important, we need to be prepared to say “no” to what is a distraction, to what is less important, and to what might tempt us as a “necessary” comfort. And to be patient with ourselves when we lose our focus, with-out losing our way completely. What is most important to me at this time in my life? What do I need to do to be faithful to that vision with dedication and patience?
(Excerpted from the Catholic Leadership Institute Weekly Lenten Newsletter)
Fr. Robert Barron says the following in one of his daily Len-ten reflections about the goal of Lent:
Speaking more practically, the Resurrection is key to spiritual detachment. If God has a life for us beyond this life, one not so much opposed to this earthly life but inclusive of and beyond it, then I’m able to wear this world much more lightly. I’m not as obsessed with finding my joy here.
Those who are not convinced of the Resurrection, who believe they’ll just die and that’s it, naturally chase after wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. But once you’re convinced of the Resurrection, you know this world isn’t ultimate. You can let go of those earthly pursuits, stop chasing them, and aspire toward a life on high with God, which is a life of love. Becoming a person of love thus becomes your central goal. That’s how the Resurrection affects every aspect of your life.
FYI – Next Sunday begins Holy Week. Weather permitting, the 11 AM mass will begin out in the grotto, with the blessing of palm and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.