My Lent got off to a goofy start, as usual. I’ll be in the groove by the second Sunday. The first Sunday, I’m leaving nose prints on the Dunkin’ Donuts glass door before it opens.
Ash Wednesday is always ‘D’ with an ‘A’ for effort. For example, last year, dinner was a deep-fried shrimp platter with cocktail sauce (no meat!) followed by sugar-free toffee for dessert (sugar free!). I’ve learned to expect a slow Lenten ascent into self-denial. But it’s okay—giving up trying would be the only real loss.
A half-dream last night got my attention as I fell asleep. A passing car’s headlight beam flitted over my closed eyes and I thought, “We have to place ourselves where we can catch the beam of light.” The dreamy conviction was so intense I knew I had to share it.
How does that relate to Lent? I think we need to intentionally place ourselves to avoid dodging the beam of light—the voice of God—that is always trying to find us. So often we hear the whisper of God, “Pssst. Hey, it’s Me.” “Not now, God,” we answer, “gotta run for groceries before dinner; I’m too tired; I have to write my to-do list for tomorrow; I’ll catch you later for sure. Anyway, I prayed the Rosary this morning—remember?”
Especially during Lent, how can we place ourselves to catch the beam of light we need for spiritual renewal? How can we get back to what’s important when our lives are as busy as ever?
Here are three classic ways to invite God in so we don’t miss the special grace of the season:
- Schedule your time with God. Write it on your calendar. Set your alarm. Whatever it takes. Mother Teresa wrote: “I make a holy hour after Mass so I have two hours with Jesus before the people and sisters start using me up. I let Him use me first.” Don’t have two hours a day? Schedule 15 minutes to meet Him in his Word, Holy Scripture.
- Make a good confession. It’s a great way to get cleaned out so you’re more susceptible to the beam of light, his love. Being forgiven does wonders for our ability to forgive.
- Give alms. Choose the way that suits you best: sharing time or money lightens us up because we shift the focus from ourselves. We become a beam of light to others.
Here’s hoping the first half-week of your Lent is off to a good start. I’d love to hear your favorite ways of connecting with God during this holy season. Scroll down and share a comment :)
I have been going to Mass everyday and praying the rosary. Stopping many times during the day to talk to my God!
I always thank God every morning for waking me up, but a friend suggested I pray and ask for God’s guidance before I leave my room to start my day so I’ve been doing that. We’re also reciting the Rosary every evening as a family.
I am going to lead the stations of the cross every Wed. during lent for our parishioners. I always start my day out by praying the rosary in my Schoenstatt shrine. God bless you for giving us such good readings.
Judith Marie Dihel
I made an appointment with God each morning at 7:00. I spend an hour or so in prayer, the homily scripture of the day. Devotionals and messages from several Catholic websites such as Forum and the Popes message. Right now I feel off track on distractions and focusing on Jesus fully each morning. I don’t know if it is my weaknesses or other distractions but my hope is to focus more clearly and deeply in my mornings with God.
I find myself without a plan for Lent. Fortunately my bible study group has taken up Bishop Robert Barron’s commentary on the Lenten readings; much wisdom! Saved again!
Wow. This makes me feel so much better that I’m not the only one off to a slow start. Thank you so much! I’m inspired to start fresh this week.
Addie Lou Willis
Dear Rose, Your honesty helps us all – thank you! I’ve been told many times that I’m too hard on myself, so reading your message helps me feel less pressure and helps me be more open to where Jesus is leading me.
I was comforted by your writings and reassured slow progress counts. We have been attending daily mass and actually staying to reflect on the hearings instead of running off to our next task. I have also started Women’s Bible Study discussing the lies that women believe. Great reminder of my value as his daughter, irrelevant of the season.
Ash Wednesday went well. It has been the rest of the days after where I have fallen short and need to strive to do better.