I have a confession to make. I’ve never really been “good” at Lent. In third grade, my CCD teacher asked us to share what we were giving up for Lent. My response? Homework. Let’s just say that didn’t go over very well.
I don’t remember what I “gave up” that year, or most of the subsequent years. In college I gave up meat, and did a pretty good job of it, too, if I do say so myself. We won’t talk about what happened after Lent when, during the Easter Octave, I consumed my weight in hamburgers!
Suffice it to say, my Lenten fasting and penances were the type that would likely have earned the rebuke, “Is this the manner of fasting that I wish, of keeping a day of penance . . . do you call this a fast?” (Isaiah 58:5)
I was missing the point. I chose penances to test my own will power rather than make room for the Lord. I wanted to prove something to myself and to others rather than offer a humble contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).
The problem with Lenten penance was seeing the sacrifice as an end, rather than the means to a new, deeper, relationship with Christ.
When we feel the emptiness left by our fasts, do we run to the Lord or reach to something, or someone else, to fill the void?
My dear sister in Christ, as Lent begins, let us hear the voice of the Bridegroom calling. Wherever it is that Our Lord is calling to your heart, empty it into His hands and allow His love to fill the emptiness.
The Bridegroom has been taken away, it is time to fast (Matthew 9:15), but He will return again.
So if you find yourself reaching out to that “thing” you gave up or struggling to stick to an extra prayer practice, do not be afraid to return to Him and make your offering again, as we say with the psalmist, “my sacrifice is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn” (Psalm 51:17).Allow His love to fill the emptiness. // Sister Maria Fatima @DSMMEVocations Click To Tweet
How is the Bridegroom calling in your heart? Take time before the Blessed Sacrament this week.
Thank you for being here.
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