The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The blessed ashes are imposed on us as a sign of conversion, penance, and fasting and human mortality. We Catholics are called to focus on the Lenten observances – Prayer, fasting and alms-giving and to be with Jesus for the 40 days. It is a preparation for us, readying us for Good Friday and Easter.
Lent is a time to evaluate ourselves in light of God’s Word. It’s a time to receive God’s forgiveness and strength to lead a Christian life. It’s a time to renew our desire to serve God, and to be the type of Christians that God has made us to be. It is a time to look deep within ourselves, and acknowledge our sins. Lent is a time when you grow in your appreciation of all that Christ has done for you. The call of Lent is for a renewal of repentance, fervent seeking after God, and increased love and concern for our neighbour.
We must remain faithful servants, obedient to the Church precepts, living closely to the sacraments particularly the Sacrament of the Eucharist, have an active prayer life, read the word of God, and live a life filled with good and merciful works. We must love God and our neighbour.
We too should examine our lives and seek forgiveness, particularly in Confession. The more we examine ourselves then we will know right from wrong. Therefore, before we go to sleep each night, we should examine in our minds, the events of the day, and everything that we have said or done, or failed to do, whether good or bad. After having examined our whole day, from beginning to end, we should then ask for forgiveness for our sins. Finally, we should pray an act of contrition. Do make the act of examining your conscience a part of your night prayer.
God is merciful towards those who recognise their sinfulness and regret it so much. We shall focus fully on His mercy because it is through His mercy that we feel helped, we feel healed, and we feel forgiven. During this season of Lent, we give thanks to God for this favourable time, the time of grace, and the time of reconciliation. May the Lord cleanse our hearts and strengthen us in His love through the Holy Spirit. Let our prayer always be, “A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, nor deprive me of Your Holy Spirit,” (Ps 51: 10-12).
This Lent, do your best. Strive to root out sin and cherish holiness. May the Lord make our Lenten journey a Jubilee of Mercy with Mary as we engage in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy!