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Even Now

“Even now, says the Lord, return to me . . .” (Joel 2:12-18).

The first line of today’s First Reading took my breath away. Even now, after sin and failure, and broken promises, He calls me to Him. In all His tenderness He says, “[R]eturn to me.” It seems impossible, inconceivable, miraculous. Even after I have been short-tempered with my loved ones? Even after I have been uncharitable in my thoughts and speech? Even after I have failed a million times over? Yes, He would say, even then.

And I do return, because I know I need Him. I know that without Him, I am like the dark ash rubbed across my brow, a reminder of my own substance. So I will begin this Lent by returning my heart and mind to God, diving deeper into prayer. I will fast so that my desires will make way for my deeper desire for the Lord to emerge. I will give to those in need, be that monetarily or with my time and love.

I’m committing to taking more time to sit and call upon the Holy Spirit to teach me to pray. I will allow my spiritual reading to stir that conversation in my heart that needs to happen with our great Creator. I am committing to more regular examination, and asking Him to help me fine-tune my interior life so that my exterior life is a reflection of the goodness that resides within.

Let’s enter this season of hope together, ready to encounter our Lord in our sinfulness. He is ready to do the work of bringing about new life, even now.

Let’s enter this season of hope together, ready to encounter our Lord in our sinfulness. Click To Tweet

Do you have a favorite Stations of the Cross to pray? This one from a Doctor of the Church is a classic.

Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Kellie Vincent
    March 6, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Sweet Sister – I don’t think you could have summed up my hope for this Lenten time any better. Thankful for your beautiful words. I have saved them to reflect on where I started. Opening my heart, mind and eyes to Him and Him only. Many prayers to you.

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 6, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Thank you, Jacqueline, for a beautiful reflection. God is ready to do the work in me. Yes! I ask myself: am I ready to let Him? I need to work, too, so that I am receptive to the work God wants to (and is waiting to) do in me so that His work will truly change me and bring me in line with His will for me.

  • Reply
    fromevansridge
    March 6, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I wanted to do something more for the Lenten season. More prayer, more reflection, more understanding. I searched on-line for devotions for Lent, found many, but wanted ones written for the Catholic faith. I found this webpage, ordered the To The End journal, and today, Ash Wednesday, opened-up the webpage to this devotional. “…return to Me. With your whole heart.” At a time when I have been absent from the Church, from the rituals of mass, I have read, I have prayed, and I have given. Today is the first day in months I have been drawn to return to mass. “…return to Me, with your whole heart.”

    • Reply
      Beth C
      March 6, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      God bless you and welcome back! May your journey continue to bring you closer to Jesus through the sacraments.

      • Reply
        fromevansridge
        March 7, 2019 at 8:06 am

        Thank you.

    • Reply
      Jacqui
      March 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      I was literally moved to tears reading your comment, and it’s been on my mind for days. Thank you for having the courage to look at the Church again and walk back into Her open arms.

  • Reply
    Dolores
    March 11, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Wow! You wrote about my exact feelings about Lent this year which reminds me and shows me that the words, “one body in Christ” really is true. You would think it would scare me that my exact feelings and thoughts of Lent and God are the same as someone in Minnesota whom I have never met. We only share a love of God, His son and the Catholic faith but we are connected in the one body, in communion with Christ through the Eucharist and sacraments. How God works is amazing to me all the time, not scary just ensuring and validating. It is like more and more proof the He is the living God. Thank you for your fine writing and words. Bless you Sister in Christ Jesus.

    • Reply
      Jacqui
      March 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you, Dolores!

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