Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart!
God gives in abundance, always, in
all times and in all places! His goodness manifests itself most abundantly in
His Mystical Body, the Church and concretely in the Church Liturgical Year.
The two strong times of the year are
Advent which culminates in Christmas, and Lent which culminates in Holy Week
and in the Risen Lord Jesus. To experience the fullness of the Paschal
Mystery--- the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, we must live with
generous heart and openness of spirit the season of Lent. Lent is both a gift
and a Season of abundant graces.
Why not decide right now to live this
Lent with total generosity of heart, mind, soul, body, and emotions? Let us
live out these forty days of graces and blessings as if it were to be the last
Lent in our lives! Our life is short and
time flies by and the clock never ticks backwards!
We will offer ten simple Lenten
practices so that indeed this Lent will be the best Lent in our lives. “If today you hear the voice of the Lord,
harden not your hearts…”
TEN LENTEN PRACTICES TO ARRIVE AT
PRAYER. Instead of being Martha this Lent why not try
to imitate Mary of Bethany. What did Mary do, as Martha nervously and
frenetically rushed to and fro? Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus, looked at
Jesus intently, listened attentively to His words, carried on a friendly and
loving conversation, and simply loved Jesus. In Lent why not make the proposal-
in imitation of Mary of Bethany—to pray a little bit more and better! Prayer
delights the Heart of Jesus!
RECONCILIATION AND PEACE. If it is such that there is some person in
your life that you have bitterness towards, resentment, maybe even hatred, then
Lent is a most propitious time to reconcile. Build a bridge and knock down the
barrier! In marriage homilies I often
say to those about to be married that the three most important shorts phrases
that couples should learn are: “I love you!”
“I am sorry!” and “I forgive you!”
Lent is time to throw out the old and rotting yeast and to be renewed in
our social relationships!
Reconcile with others, you do it with Jesus
PENANCE! Jesus said unequivocally: “Unless you do penance you will perish.” Give
up something you like for love of God and for the salvation of souls. By saying “No” to self, we say “yes” to the
invasion of God in our hearts! Beg the
Holy Spirit for light to give up what is most pleasing to God!
BIBLE: WORD OF GOD. In the holy
seasons of Advent and Lent the Church warmly exhorts us to have a real hunger
for the Word of God. Jesus in response to the first temptation of the devil
responded: “Man does not live on bread
alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” May this Lenten season be motivated by a
daily meditation of the Word of God! Use a prayer method suggested by Pope
Benedict XVI called Lectio Divina: read, meditate, contemplate, pray, and
action—put into practice the good insights you have received. This will result
in a transformation of life; as St. Paul asserted: “It is no longer I who lives but Christ who
lives in me.”
Lent is a time to give, especially to the poor, sick, marginalized and
the rejected of society. Remember Pope Francis’ many gestures of loving the
poor, kissing the repulsive and rejected of the world. “Whatsoever you do to
the least of my brothers, that you do to me.”
THE THREE T’S. Following up on almsgiving why not examine
your life in these three areas and see where and how you can give, as Blessed
Mother Teresa said: “Give until it hurts!”
Time! Give of your time to others. Start at home because charity begins
at home. Talents! We all have talents.
Lent is time to conquer our laziness and work diligently to cultivate our
God-given talents. “Better to wear out
then rust out!” Treasures! If you have an excess of food, clothing, money and
material possessions, give and give. You are giving to Jesus in the poor!
The joy of living out the Gospel
Be joyful! Try to implement this
acronym: J. O. Y. J—stands for
Jesus! O—stands for others; Y—stands for
you! If we put Jesus first, then others
second and finally ourselves as last then we will experience the joy of the
Holy Spirit and it will overflow on the others we meet!
DAILY MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION! By far the best way we could possibly live
out the Holy Season of Lent is by drawing close to Jesus as possible. In Holy
Mass and Holy Communion, not only do we draw close to Jesus, but we actually
receive Him into the very depths of our being, our inner sanctuary which is our
soul. However, go to Mass and Holy Communion with intentions, especially to repair
for sin and prevent sin. Why did Jesus suffer so much in His bitter Passion? St. Ignatius of Loyola gives us the two
fundamental reasons: 1) To show us the malice and evil of the reality of sin;
2) to show us the depths of His love for all of humanity and for each one of us
individually. Offer your Mass and Holy
Communion in reparation for your past sins as well as in reparation for the
sins of your family. Morally speaking also our Holy Mass and Communion could
and should be offered in reparation for the sins of abortion—shedding the blood of the most innocent and vulnerable and
then in reparation for the widespread practice of homosexuality which tears
apart the basic building block of society—the family!
Which devil do you have to wrestle with?
CONQUER YOUR OWN PERSONAL DEVIL! All of us have our own kryptonite--- our weak
point where we easily fall. But also we all have our own devil that attacks
us--- often going for our weak point.
Check out where the devil attacks most. You might just go through the
Capital sins and see where the devil has an opening. Gluttony? Lust? Greed? Sloth/Laziness? Anger?
Envy? Pride? In Lent we are soldiers
enlisted in the arm of Christ the King. Time to fight against our personal
devil with the strength of Jesus the King.
We are weak, but God is strong. Nothing is impossible for God!
10. MARY AND LENT! Try to live a strongly Marian Lent. Pray the
Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary as well as the Rosary dedicated to Our Lady
of Sorrows. View the movie of Mel Gibson, “The Passion of the Christ” where
Mary’s role is significant. Make the Way of the Cross, walking with Our Lady of
Sorrows. Strive in Lent to live these holy days through the eyes of Mary and
with the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our Lady of Sorrows from the film of Gibson
In conclusion, my friends, if we can
choose to live out these proposals with generosity of spirit, this will be the
most holy of all our Lents. We will be able to live out the fullness of the
Paschal Mystery—to suffer and die with Jesus so that we will rise with Him in
the glory of the Resurrection!