The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that He freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. --Pope Francis
Dear Lord, As Lent begins, I place all my intentions at the foot of your cross. I want to "do this well." Please take from me that want and replace it with the sincere acknowledgement that I am nothing without You. I believe that forgiveness is possible and that your love is greater than my sinfulness. I believe that in Your Word there is hope and truth and pardon and peace. Let me steep in the true Love of the gospel. Help me to grow in the gospel during this Lenten season. Bring me back, God. Inspire in me true contrition, true repentance--and let my entire life be a witness to the truth of the Good News.
Ash Wednesday can feel like New Year's Day. Firm commitments made for Lent can look a lot like resolutions made as the calendar year begins. Our Lenten commitments deserve a sharper focus. Lent is about returning to the Father. What we give up, what we do extra--they are to serve one purpose: to bring us back to Him, to restore us to His will for us. Lent is about remembering that He breathed us into being and He loves us unconditionally. All the things that pass between our beginnings in His hands and our return to the earth are dependent upon the one, true God. He's in it all. He gives it life. He gives us life--again and again and again every day. Our Lenten sacrifices need to sting a little, to require some struggle. They need to make us cry out to Him for grace sufficient. Over. And over. And over. Lent is habit training in dependency. Without Him, we are nothing. With Him, we are and we have everything. Let this Lent be about knowing Him. Seek Him earnestly in the Word. Become intimate with the love letters there. And, confident in who He is and how He loves, let this Lent be about asking for His grace for every step and knowing that His grace is enough.