Most of us get a lot of junk mail. Sometimes I pause before throwing it in the recycle basket and note that a piece might be advertising some course, book, DVD, program, or workshop about a topic in which I am really interested. It pulls me in and I realize there is a lot I would like to know and do better; stuff I want to learn about?new technologies, best practices, and all the rest. While I try to give some attention to this, in my mind I am never doing enough. Always I am looking out for a more efficient and informative way to learn about something, to grow better at something, and develop some new skill.
For many of us, our relationship with God can fall into the same category. We want to draw closer to God in prayer, but finding the time, energy and resources is another matter. And even if our motivation is good, knowing how to actually grow and improve our spiritual side can be challenging. So, we revert back to what is familiar but not fulfilling.
The Church moves along through time in a cycle of seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Ordinary time, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and back to Ordinary time. While Christmas is a favorite of many and does evoke a level of charity and generosity, it seems to me Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday, offers the strongest invitation for personal involvement. From our childhood we may recall Lenten programs, practices, and services that challenged us to grow in holiness, such as giving something up for Lent or performing some charitable work.
This year Catholics celebrated Ash Wednesday on February 10. We have invited parishioners to join with us this Lent 2016 in such a way that everyone can find something that can make a difference in their life. Lent is only six weeks long, so all of us can find the time and do something. This weekend, once again, the Parish Bulletin will offer more suggestions: weekly groups, some for women, some for men, and some mixed ?to ponder together the Lenten Sunday Gospels; Wednesday evening hours for going to Confession; praying the Rosary; Stations of the Cross; and quiet times of prayer and Eucharistic Adoration as well as daily Mass.
Don’t let this Lenten season go by without letting it touch your heart. Draw more deeply into the ever-real presence of God’s love in your life.