How’s your Lent going? I believe you are making the most awesome Lent this year. These past three Saturdays about 200 of our parishioners have been attending Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS). These parishioners of ours have chosen to participate in the LSS as a part of their spiritual preparation and renewal of their faith. Praying that all the LSS participants grow in your faith life through the presenters’ insights, sharing and testimonies.
The ultimate goal of Lent is to create pure hearts and steadfast spirit so that we can joyfully celebrate the resurrection of our Lord at Easter on 16 April. In my own spiritual journey in the past I have experienced a lot of transformation and renewal particularly during the season of Lent in terms of attitude and behavior. Like you I too often begin with the best of intentions, fasting and praying but as I journey through I do face my weakness and I lose all my plans, intentions and disciplines of Lent. When I fail in my Lenten aspirations, I grow discouraged and give up gradually. This is a victory for Satan. Somehow, I remind myself of the importance of prayers and good works in order to build myself up spiritually and mentally.
During Lent I usually practice the examination of conscience. Besides this, I do go and meet my spiritual director for spiritual guidance and also make a confession. During this Lenten season, all the parishes in the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese are having the Penitential Service. So, it is a great time for you to go and make a good confession before you celebrate Easter. I also use this time to constantly read good spiritual books and scripture readings.
Lent is a great time to discipline ourselves in our daily prayer that can guide us for the rest of our lives. We should focus our prayers on repentance and contrition for our sins. Lent is a very good time to refocus our efforts and renew our commitment as true disciples of Christ. We should also minimise our ‘sins’ by not criticising others and fast from making negative speeches.
During Lent do remember to be more charitable and merciful to others. Do see others especially the poor and those in need. Please do reach out to them and find a way to help them. Remember the promise of Jesus, “And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward,” (Mt 10:42).
This Lent, do your best. Strive to root out sin and nurture holiness for that is the true heart of Lent. May you continuously have a good Lent by focusing and disciplining yourselves.
Fr. George Packiasamy.