In one short week, it will be Ash Wednesday. Even though Ash Wednesday is later this year, we may feel like we just celebrated Christmas and New Year. Speaking of which, there is a lot of preparation that goes into those two celebrations. But, how do we prepare for Lent? That’s right -- LENT, not Easter.
Often, there are the traditional preparations that include conversations like:
“What are you giving up for Lent?”
“I’m giving up chocolate, or wine, or TV, or electronic devices.”
I actually had a conversation like this with two young girls who were looking at their phones. “What would you do without your phones?” I asked. Silence…then I posed a challenge. ”Can you not use your phone in Church for all of Lent?”
To my surprise, they smiled and said, “Yes.” I made them pinky swear.
Oh so much preparation goes into planning events and celebrations, but how much planning goes into preparing the soul and the spirit for our greatest holy day, Easter? In its wisdom, the Church offers us the season of Lent, forty days to prepare and work at becoming our best self. It is during that time when we are invited to take an inward journey and see how we can deepen our relationship with God.
How do I spend that time? Perhaps my practices need to be different. The inward journey challenges us to ask different questions. How can I be a better person? Is it possible to be more understanding of…? Do I set enough time aside for quiet prayer and reading? Can I fast from negativity? The list can go on and on but I think you get the idea.
It is time to plan how you will spend your Lent. Make sure you work on something manageable -- you know what happens when you try to do too much.
May the signs and sound of Lent surround you as you prepare to enter the season. “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
Till next week,