Friday, March 11, 2011

Is it Lent on the inside?

"I gave myself to God to accept the designs of His Providence if He willed me to continue, for the remainder of Lent, in a state of interior abandonment and even affliction so as to honor the sufferings of Jesus Christ which the Church places before our eyes."
St. Louise de Marillac, Foundress of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, SW p. 701

We often as children about what they are "doing" for Lent or what they are giving up etc. Hopefully, as we have aged our understanding of the purpose of Lent and our "doing" or "not doing" during this season has also matured.

It is easy to lose focus of the why for our various sacrifices and practices. Why do we partake in our Lenten sacrifices and mortifications. Why do we give alms (money for those in need) and why do we go to Stations of the Cross, Taize prayer or the similar?
Are we changing interiorly? Are we growing in relationship with Christ? Or as St. Louise, in her early years, are we trying to earn our way to heaven by our actions. Sure Christ calls us to follow His ways and example in our way of living, but He has already won our salvation.
All my devotions, prayers, sacrifices, acts of charity and justice are to unite my life more closely to that of Christ. The fruit of a good Lent is that within me, deep inside, I have become more and more connected to Christ, more and more Christ-like in my love and actions.
So, why did you make the choices you did for Lent? Is the primary focus growing closer to Christ or is it more about losing weight or some other way of being more healthy? Those sure are nice by-products of some of our choices for Lent!
I pray that as we travel through these 40 days, we may grow in holiness as St. Louise did over the years. May our interior spiritual lives give us the strength and courage we need during those stormy and uncertain times we are sure to encounter.
Here is a link to a Lenten calendar--check it out!

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