More than two weeks ago, we entered Lent longing for a newness that we cannot find within ourselves. “The relentlessness of life meets what it needs in Lent,” writes Father Peter John Cameron, OP (magnificat.com).The following is adapted from an essay by Fr. Cameron:
No matter how beset or beleaguered we may get because of life’s burdens, Father Cameron stated, our faith convinces us that we are wanted by Someone who surpasses all our worries and woes. That Someone is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And He is calling to us. Lent is God’s way of drawing us back to Himself in love. No matter what our defects may be – no matter the gravity of our failures or the frequency of our forgetfulness of God, the Lord patiently calls us again this Lent. And so we respond to His grace by trying to live in His grace, and therefore we go to Mass and to Confession, thirsting for mercy and love that is real, to be forgiven, healed and strengthened by God, and we pray:
Lord, please take away all my anxieties and all my resistance. Because of my selfishness, my self-reliance and my fear, I often end up saying “no” to You. Please take away my defiance. Help me to hear Your Voice calling me to Your Love.
Lord, please do not let me be slavish to my plans. Many good things have happened to me in ways that I never expected. Your loving providence is greater than anything that I could arrange. Teach me to be attentive to Your presence at every moment of each day. Teach me to trust You.
Lord, do not let me be done in by discouragement. You know how prone I am to melancholy, bitterness, resentment and indifference. Even in the midst of my negativity, hope drives me on to reach out for true, fulfilling life. Curb my contrariness and complaining. My desire for joy leads to You. Help me to be true to that desire.
Lord, let me turn over to You all my self-doubt. My limitations make me more aware of my need to depend on You. Beyond my understanding, You want me in Heaven for Life Eternal. Help me to hold fast to this truth.
Lord, let me make of my life this Lent a true sacrifice to You. For sacrifice consists in becoming totally receptive to Your will and letting myself be completely taken over by You, my God.
In the first week of Lent, the prophet Isaiah reminded us: “Light shall rise for you in the darkness… the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty… He will renew your strength, and you shall be… like a spring whose water never fails” (Isaiah 58:10-11).May we believe this promise. This Lent, may we, like the prodigal son (Luke 15), come to our senses, declaring, “I will arise and return to my Father.”
With peace and prayers in Christ, as our journey through Lent continues,