Lent is coming very soon. Have you picked out your penance yet? (Or decided to, “Give something up,” as some like to put it.) It’s a good spiritual practice to take on a special penance during Lent so that we can overcome love of self and to open ourselves to the grace of God. We can often use the things of this world to excess and the penances we take on help to correct that tendency. If you have never tried to go without something for forty days, now this year is a perfect opportunity to try it.
When we take on a Lenten Penance, we first need to ask ourselves one simple question: what am I loving more than God? The answer to this question might be radically different depending on who is answering. Some people might be great at prayer, but they have no self control when eating. Others may be really into charity work, yet barely ever pick up a bible. Once we examine where we fall short, it is then good to pick something that really challenges. Maybe we could take on spiritual reading, purposefully avoid a certain food, spend some time caring for the poor or pray the rosary every day. It depends on the individual and where they are on their journey of faith.
After Lent is over, depending on how well we did, we will either be glad that we overcame our faults or we will realize just how much we need the mercy of God. Either way, we can praise God for all the opportunities we have to show Him our love. Trust in His Strength, His Love and His Mercy.
STEWARDSHIP REFLECTION: RESOLUTIONS
Each year, people throughout the world make New Year’s resolutions. For many, these resolutions are short lived and quickly forgotten. At our Baptism and Confirmation, we made New Life resolutions. Our baptismal promises are lifelong commitments to Jesus and the Church.
We recognize that all that we possess comes from God. We are God’s stewards. We have been empowered to manage the abundant gifts that we have received.
As “good stewards” it is our responsibility to give back a portion of the “time, talent and treasure” we receive from our generous and loving God. Let us recommit ourselves to the Lord by taking the time to plan. Let us make stewardship of time and talent part of our lifestyle, and stewardship of treasure part of our budget.
“Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)