Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lent about half-way through

Lent is now about half-way gone. It is a good time to reflect on our Lenten journey this far. So, how is it going for you? I think, too, this Third Sunday of Lent is a good time to re-hack, especially if you are discouraged by any failures you may have experienced along the way. Remember, our Lenten objective is to be more conformed to Christ. Without a doubt, the first realization we need in order to achieve our goal is that we need help, divine assistance, also called grace. Any discouragement you might be experiencing is not coming from a good place. Opening ourselves to the mercy the Father has shown us in His only Begotten Son, Christ our Lord, is the best experience we can have.

How can you do this? Go to confession. Stop the hemming and hawing, stop the rationalizations, acknowledge your need for reconciliation by undertaking a thorough examination of your life since your last confession, even if it took place many years ago. I also think it a helpful reminder that, in addition to acting in persona Christi, the priest acts on behalf of the Church. So, the reconciliation that occurs in the sacrament of penance is cruciform, having both a vertical and a horizontal dimension. Like the graces we receive in communion, reconciliation is not something we keep to ourselves, but something we practice in our lives. After all, part of our baptismal vocation as God's priestly people is to help reconcile the world. As a wise priest told with me yesterday, a bit in tongue in cheek after I shared with him my choice to give up alcohol (excepting communion) during Lent, truly being reconciled with an enemy is worth many glasses of scotch!

2 comments:

  1. Mercy...reconcilation...grace. Certainly these are at the forefront during the Lenten season, but are they not also part of the daily life of the Catholic?

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  2. They are, absolutely. I am a strong proponent of Lent as a time of refocusing, which means only doing things, or not doing things, that bear fruit beyond this holy season.

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