Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Journey Through Lent




Tomorrow marks the first day of Lent. (February 18-April 2)

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
 "The purpose of Lent is to provide that purification by weaning men from sin and selfishness through self-denial and prayer, by creating in them the desire to do God’s will and to make His kingdom come by making it come first of all in their hearts.”   That's a lot to swallow.  All you had to say was selfishness and my innards start to ache.  And self-denial too?  I thought this Lent business was supposed to be a good thing, not something that's going to make me sweat for the next 40...long...days. Actually, it is a good thing; it's all how you choose to look at it.I have always remembered growing up, Lent meant giving up something you really enjoy: that cup of coffee every morning, that chocolate bar, or even that swear word you use in front of your buddies  to appear "cooler."  But I've come to realize Lent has more meaning than giving up your "vices" in life. Having discussed with my mother-in-law a few weeks back about what she was going to give up for Lent, she promptly pointed my heart in another direction.  She shared with me an article she read explaining that although you may give up your "vice" for Lent, you may still be a gossiper, a complainer, or even someone who holds grudges and doesn't forgive others.  Instead of passing on that caffeine habit for the next 40 days, how about we show God's love through our actions instead.  What good does it do if I give up coffee for 40 days, yet I gossip about my neighbor?  How am I drawing closer to Him by doing so?  And better yet, how am I showing others His love by my ill actions?  Simply put, I'm not.   After our conversation, a flame was ignited inside of me.  I want to be the person that when looked upon, people see Jesus.  I want my selfishness to instead be turned into selflessness.  And I want others who witness who I am to see I am a light for our Heavenly Father.  How would I accomplish these actions and still honor Lent by drawing closer to Him?  By being and doing for others; by extending myself in honor of Him.  Lend a hand, a sincere compliment given, or even by thinking of others before myself.    Please join my family and me as we journey together during these 40 days...and beyond.  During our journey, we will spread His word, lend ourselves to His people, and in turn, draw closer to Him and remember His sacrifice for us.I hope that you can and will take this journey with us.  My hope is for you and your family to draw closer to Him during this season of selflessness, create self denial within yourself for the sake of others, and to create a pure heart within yourself for Him.  
 

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