Each year we are given a gift. It is the gift of Lent. Pope Francis reminds us: In our preparation for Easter, God in His providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”. Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life. (Message of the Holy Father Francis for Lent 2018)
We live in a world that seems to me to be regressing more than progressing. As the introduction to GO FORTH AND LIVE IN PEACE states, our very lives are being challenged by polarization and division. (p. 3). I ask myself at least once a day: What is happening to this world? So much seems to be turning from basic values of justice and charity to the focus of energies on “what is good for me” regardless of it’s impact on others. Lent is an opportunity for a personal review of areas in our own lives where there is a need to turn the focus away from self to the need of others.
We are invited today to look at the discipline of fasting as one was to clarify that focus. I ask myself what should I fast from? What good will my fasting do for the world around me? How can my fasting nourish another; give meaning to another; change the world for the better? As I pray for guidance, the words “just do it” popped into my head. Is the spirit of God telling me something that perhaps I don’t want to hear?
Today may we chose whatever we need to do to allow the graces of Lent to be effective on our path to conversion. Just do it… just start… just begin the journey of Lent with joy and the trust that relies on the fidelity of God’s love to make it possible.