Beside the Holm Oak Tree

Make this Lent Count

Every year when Lent comes around we think of ways to improve our relationship with God.  That’s really what its about, right?  We may think of things we will give up for the 40 days of Lent.  Maybe its a favorite food or drink or it  maybe televison or social media.  We may have ulterior motives such as giving up desserts to help us shed a few pounds.  Is it just about sacrificing something for six weeks?  We may be a minimalist and only make a very narrow sacrifice.  I once heard of someone giving up a particular flavor of ice cream.  Did that mean they could eat other flavors whenever they wanted?  Didn’t seem very difficult.

The point of sacrifice is to gain a greater good.  We take away hours of time on the computer or watching television and spend the time reading Scripture or a book from the Church Doctors.  We change our schedule to make time for daily mass or adoration.  We add a devotion like the daily rosary or the Stations of the Cross.  

Make your sacrifice count. Make sure it is measurable.  Committing to being nicer to others is pretty subjective.  It is a noble gesture but what about spending time with someone who is challenging to you?  Committing to 15 minutes of prayer every day is better than just saying I’ll pray more.  Make a daily sacrifice, it can be something different every day and offer it up to God in reparation for all the offenses to his Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Then when Lent is over, continue your new habits of devotion, reading or attending mass or adoration.  We don’t commit to improving our relationships with our spouses, family or friends for a set period of time and then stop.  Why stop adoring and loving God in a greater way when Lent is over?

We should strive to continually grow in our faith.  If we aren’t growing, we are falling away.  There is no such thing as maintaining the status quo in the spiritual life.

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