Ah, Lent! That time of year when we spend a little more time than usual reflecting on how much we have distanced ourselves from God by our sin. Personally, I can easily get discouraged and even disgusted with myself when we think about the many ways I have chosen darkness over light. But, the Lenten season is also preparation for the greatest Act of forgiveness and proof of God’s great love for each one of us, even in our sinfulness.
For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly…God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6, 8 )
Lent is not just a time of reflection, but a time for renewal and reconciliation. A time to go to confession, be sorry, be cleansed and, as St. Josemaria liked to say, begin again (something we probably should be doing all throughout the year, anyway). Therefore, this Lent let us not be despair as we recognize our faults and failings, but humbly accept the limits of our human nature, let go of our sins and allow ourselves to be forgiven and transformed by God’s love and mercy.
Also: tomorrow (Ash Wednesday, 2012) you might consider starting the 33 preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I usually renew my consecration Jul. 13-Aug. 15, but this opportunity is too good to pass up:
“In a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary (according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort) begins this year on Ash Wednesday (February 22nd) and concludes with the act of consecration on the Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 26th this year, moved because of the 5th Sunday of Lent).
The particular circumstances which allow the consecration to begin on February 22nd (namely, both a leap year and the transfer of the Annunciation to March 26th) have only occurred three times since St. Louis-Marie’s death, and will not occur again until 2164.
The spirituality of the Total Consecration fits well with Lent: It is the perfect renewal of our baptismal promises, which is precisely what the season of Lent is all about as we prepare together with the catechumens for the Easter Vigil.”
My entire spiritual life can be summed up in this devotion, which I explain in more detail here: Totus Tuus. I can’t recommend it highly enough! If you don’t have a book, all of the readings and prayers can be accessed at the Fish Eaters website. There is also a podcast, an iPhone/iPad app and an app for android devices.
Have a blessed Lent, everyone!