I have found that most parishioners think about Lent as a time to enter more deeply into their personal spiritual life. We should understand that Jesus’ Passion is about a relationship and how he overpowers sin to win love and redemption for us. Regardless of the price He has to pay, Jesus is faithful to His mission to serve His Father’s Will. How much of our life is spent on serving God’s will in your marriage and in your family life?
Three Lenten acts give an opportunity to grow closer to God and to your spouse.
1. PRAY TOGETHER
Prayer will help you get to know each other in a deeper way. It reminds you that when you are married, you are one body, mind, soul, and spirit. As we get closer to each other, we also get closer to God; that’s the ultimate goal to bring our spouse to God.
- Attend Mass: Fulfill the Sunday obligation by attending Sunday Mass together.
- Pray for each other: When you wake up each day, just say to the Lord, “I offer you this day for my spouse.”
- Pray for your family: In the same way, you can offer your day for your children.
- Pray together: Before retiring each day, it is good to kneel by your bed together to present your expectations, your plans and your dreams to the Lord. Even your differences.
Contemplate the sacrificial love of Jesus to increase your own capacity to love your spouse:-
- Resentment: Resentment is a message telling you that something must change in YOU! Learn to have compassion, listen to the pain in your spouse. It will help you relax and bring peace to the family.
- Complaining: Stop destructive criticism and complaining this Lent. Train yourself to see the good in your spouse and his/her best qualities. Love your spouse by serving, sacrificing, listening, empathizing, appreciating and affirming him/her.
- Worrying: Offer to God whatever worries that weigh you down. I encourage you to make use of our prayer card, “Prayer for the Family” which we have distributed early this year.
3. ALMS GIVING
Alms giving literally means giving to the poor. People are poor in different ways and there are a variety of ways to serve them. People who may need your assistance are:
- People without money/ food/and shelter.
- People without family and friends who could use some of your time.
- Our parishioners or families that need your time and talent. Share your God – given gifts with them.
- Your own family: Consciously give your loved ones more attention and spend time together. Have meals together more regularly and listen to each other more attentively
As a couple, discern how you are being called to serve others. Then, make a realistic plan to give generously to others, while still continuing to take care of your spouse and children. Our Lenten tears and sacrifices are not for the Lord, but for ourselves; that we may rediscover the joy of loving Him. “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children (Luke 22:28).” Even in tears, we can find joy.