St John's Q&A

Friday, March 03, 2006

Something special for God this Lent

Yesterday, a SFA blogger asked, "Is there anything special we can do to make a good lent?" This is a very open-ended question with a million answers. I am tempted to just answer, "yes". But, I'll say a bit more than that, as usual! The Church wants us to focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during these holy 40 days, as Christ himself exhorted us to do (Mt 6). Let me use those as headings.

Prayer: Something special for God this Lent would be to attend daily Mass, in additon to Sunday. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the greatest form of prayer. In Mass, we not only hear God's Word and encounter Him in the Eucharist, but we actually receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Making a frequent Communion with Christ is the best thing you can do this Lent, or any time. The next best thing you can do is spend time with Jesus in Adoration. Whether it's 15 minutes or a full Holy Hour that you can spend in His Presence, your soul will be grateful!

Fasting: Something special for God this Lent would be to offer a physical (but healthy) sacrifice to Him. We fast during Lent, especially, to be in union with Christ who fasted for 40 days in the desert. Whatever it is from which we fast (food, drink, television, etc.), it should be to draw our souls closer to God. The more we can detach from things of the world, the more we can attach ourselves to Him. If our fasting is merely external and doesn't draw us closer to loving Him and others, God himself has said that it's pointless.

Almsgiving: Something special to do for God this Lent would be to make a generous contribution to the Cardinal's Appeal. Like prayer and fasting, almsgiving should be part of our normal Christian living. But, in the season of Lent, maybe we can do more. Can I share more of my time and talent with those less fortunate? If not, I should give more of my treasure, so that those who do serve the poor will be better equipped. It is, after all, God's treasure; in almsgiving, we give back to Him what he has given us.

Whatever we decide to do this Lent, even if it's the smallest thing, if it's for the love of Jesus, it pleases him immensely. "If but a pin is given in homage, and given with a good heart, it will be enough for Jesus, who loves only the good will" (St Louis de Montfort).
Any other suggestions that St John's bloggers have??


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