Ash Wednesday is this week. In the busyness of life, we can be tempted to dismiss Lent as unimportant: “Things are going fine, I’ll skip it this year.” Or someone bogged down with suffering might think: “It isn’t going to do any good anyway.” Though understandable, such perspectives are incomplete.
These forty days are vital to the growth of our relationship with Jesus.
The Church seeks to guide our minds to a healthy perspective and to promote our spiritual growth.
The season of Lent is the time to renew your desire to be a disciple of Christ. The three forms of penance are a means for you to hear, look upon, and touch Him. Read more
In today’s world, it is all too easy to forget that we have a genuine need for God. The constant fulfillment of our every inclination for food, pleasure and power lulls to sleep our longing for God. But inside every individual is an actual hunger for God that cannot be instantly satisfied or avoided indefinitely. That’s why food, power, and pleasure never satisfy the human heart for long. We are not meant to have lasting happiness through these temporary things.
Stirring awake the primordial need for God is the Church’s purpose in asking us to observe the season of Lent. Denying ourselves a legitimate good for a time, forgoing a meal, or sacrificing something for someone else helps to reawaken our deepest need. Hearing our bellies grumble is an important opportunity to acknowledge to ourselves that our hearts desire lasting, fulfilling joy which a meal will not ultimately fulfill.
We offer this reflection from Sr. Mary Martha Bechnel, OP: Do we really need more sacrifices this Lent? Yes, and here’s why.
During Lent’s forty days, we offer the grumblings of the belly or other sacrifices to God as a concrete act of trust and fervent petition that He may keep our hearts awake, hungering for Him as our only true fulfillment. We ask Him to root His love so deeply into our being that even when our bellies are full again, we do not fail to remember our deepest hunger.
Our Lenten devotionals (The Paschal Mystery of Christ, Walking in the Footsteps of the Lord, and Stand Faithfully) are written and produced by our Sisters. Available here
Throughout the season of Lent, we will be bringing attention to the remedies for vice in our lives with our new video series, Vice to Virtue. These videos were created in collaboration with Fr. Nick Monco, O.P. to help high school students and adults understand the capital sins and how virtue helps us to cooperate with God’s grace to overcome them. Learn more here