Sent to Make a Dent in the Lent Event
Seasonal Message by Rev. John Phalen, CSC President Holy Cross Family Ministries
-Are you making a dent in the Lent event? Is anything you are practicing for Lent amounting to a step closer to real heartfelt conversion? We all started this Lent with convictions: some were to go to Mass daily; others gave up something difficult to give up. Some decided to dedicate themselves to reaching out to the needy in these tough economic times or to serve someone we always have to serve with joy and kindness. Here are a few suggestions about keeping the Lent event happening in our lives as Easter approaches.
-First, the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a necessary part of our Lenten journey. It allows us to unburden ourselves of our sin. With God’s forgiveness celebrated in a visible prayerful way we feel lighter and freer to realize those Lenten resolutions.
-Even Peter the Apostle, the Rock on which Jesus built his Church, betrayed the Lord three times. But Peter did not react to his betrayals as did Judas who hung himself. He wept and asked the Lord’s forgiveness and came to show great love for the Lord by feeding his sheep. So if our Lenten practice has failed thus far, it’s not too late for us to revive it!
-Are we starting each day with a prayer? For some it can be the Eucharistic celebration or a Rosary, or even Benediction or a holy hour. For others just some time with the Lord. But our prayer needs to be a bit more keen and a bit more purposeful as we seek conversion of heart. After all, our God gives us each day, cares for our loved ones, and maintains us in life. Can we not pray some minutes to our Creator in praise and thanksgiving daily? Such a beginning can influence our whole day.
-And while we’re praying perhaps we can allow the Lord to speak to us about the number of people only we can reach. You know who they are. Perhaps they would never approach a priest, deacon or religious to talk about spiritual matters, but they are full of questions for the rest of us; family members, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, friends. Can we pray, “Lord, you have sent me to speak to them of you. Give me the words, the courage, the spirit of wisdom and acceptance I need. For the rest of this Lent, Lord, make me your ambassador, your missionary.”
-For the rest of this Lent, let us be kind and conscious of how our God would change our hearts and change our ways. Let us be aware that we are sent to make a dent in the Lent event!