It is that time of year again. A time where millions of Christians the world over observe the season of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and abstinence and teaches us that there are things more important than our carnal desires. The lenten has been observed since the beginnings of the church and looks to the time that our Lord spend fasting in the desert before the start of his public ministry. St. Ignatius of Antioch in A.D. 110 said “Despise not the fast period of forty days, for it comprises an imitation of the conduct of the Lord.”
Lent is a Time of Reflection
It is during this time of year that we hear of people giving up things. Some give up chocolate, social media, and coffee. Others give up something totally different. We give up these things to offer it up to God in prayer. Fasting without prayer is just dieting. If we are not praying and reading scripture then what are we doing? Chances are we are missing the point of what Lent is all about. A time of reflection, realigning priorities so God is in the forefront, and growing in love for Christ an our neighbor.
Opportunity for Spiritual Growth
I urge you to not look at it as giving something up, but as taking up something. Use this forty day period to make a habit of a spiritual practice. If you are not currently praying on a daily basis you can give up fifteen minutes of sleep or fifteen minutes of your lunch break to pray. The same if you are not reading scripture. Adding these two practices to your day to day life will help you grow in your walk with Christ and remind you of what is important on a daily basis.
This time of year is a reminder of the sacrifices of our Lord on the cross. It is a time where we remember, and reflect on what is important. It is a call to action to take our faith a little more seriously. This the secret to a blessed Lent.
Saint Quotes On Lent (for Reflection)
“You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’ you can be sure you’ve already begun.” — Saint Josemaría Escrivá
“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst . . . He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” — Saint Teresa of Calcutta
“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain.” — Saint Padre Pio
“Let us set out with trust on our Lenten journey, sustained by fervent prayer, penance and concern for those in need. In particular, may this Lent be a time of ever greater concern for the needs of children, in our own families and in society as a whole: for they are the future of humanity.” — Saint John Paul II
Reflecting on these quotes, and the great tradition of voluntary suffering in the path of imitation of Christ, it is clear that Lent is the supreme time of the year to grow in spiritual discipline. Make the most of it, and have a happy Lent.
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