Will We Let Lent Change Us?

Peace be with you!

Here we are in the early days of Lent! We are just 4 days into Lent and we've already spent 2 days abstaining from flesh meat. Even though it's been less than a week, it is good for us to take stock of how things are going. How did we feel on Wednesday with the fast? How did we feel on Friday abstaining from meat? How are we growing closer to God through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? If we're struggling to get on the wagon of Lent, that's perfectly okay! There are still many opportunities to meet God through our Lenten journey.

As we reflect on and pray with the theme of Hunger, there are a couple of stories and testimonies that can be extremely helpful on our journey.

The first comes from a new high school religion teacher. On his first day, he started class with two simple questions for his students. His first question was "Come up to the front of the room if you believe God exists." About 90-95% of the class stood up and came to the front of the room. His second question was "Come up to the front of the room if you believe God loves you." This time only a couple of students got up and came to the front of the room. Almost all of the class believed that God is real, yet almost all of the class believed that God didn't love them. There are so many people around, and maybe we feel this way too, that believe God doesn't love us and that He merely just tolerates us. This feeling is at the heart of spiritual hunger. When we believe the lie that we aren't worth God's love and that He just tolerates us, there is a hole in our hearts longing for spiritual nourishment.

The other story is less a story and more of an ongoing testimony. Every year thousands of men and women participate in a 90 day journey ending on Easter Sunday that is full of fasting and abstaining. Over the 90 day journey, these men and women choose freely to give up meat on certain days and fast, to take cold showers, to give up television, certain music or podcasts, and any unnecessary computer or phone use. This isn't because any of these things are bad for us, but when they are used in excess they start to pull us away from the Father. When these men and women freely give up food, technology, and isolation, they open their hearts to God. On Wednesdays and Fridays when they fast and abstain from meat they are met firsthand with physical hunger. When they create time for the Lord by fasting from other goods, they go deeper into prayer to receive spiritual nourishment.

Everyone has their own journey in Lent. There is no "one size fits all" for Lent. But these stories and testimonies are a good way for us to think about how we are being fed. Maybe we feel like God just tolerates us. If we feel like this, how do we create the space in our lives to talk with God about this? Maybe we have gone through Lent in the past and it hasn't changed us. What can we do this year that takes us out of our comfort zone so we wake up on Easter Sunday a different person than we are today. All of us battle hunger. The first step to respond to hunger in the world is to acknowledge our own hunger and work to be spiritually fed. This week let us pray for the spiritual food that will sustain us this Lenten season.

Totus Tuus!

Corpus Christi-St. Bernard's Communications Team


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