Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lent and prayer

In our Catholic tradition, there are three main penances for Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Lent is a great time to renew our personal life of prayer. The first thing to do is simply to pray, no matter how. Even if it seems badly done or a waste of time, it's important just to carve some regular time out of our day and spend it with the Lord in prayer.

It's like keeping an appointment. A reliable person shows up for appointments, barring some unusual circumstance. Prayer is a daily appointment with the Lord.

The most important thing about prayer is simply to show up. Then God will do the rest.


Fr. Gregory said...

When I was a child at home in Maine, my cousins and I use to play a game in the snow. We would attempt to walk from my backyard to the woods behind my house, the winner was the one who could keep the straightest line in the snow. It was a distance of 70-80 yards...a long walk for small children. My cousin, Donna, who was the smallest and youngest always won. So one day, I asked her: "How come you always win this game?" And she replied: "It's easy while all of you are watching your feet, I pick out a tree in the distance and keep my eyes on it...and so I win because I always have the straightest line."

I was reflecting on this today...as I (we) prepare for Lent. If we keep our eyes on Christ and His Most Holy Mother...rather than looking down at our 'feet in the snows of sin and failure' (God knows how we love to look at our own prints!) perhaps we might also make a 'straighter' line through our Christian life...and reach OUR goal (salvation) and win by His grace?

O Lord give us the sobriety necessary for the Lenten Fast...that recollected, we may repent of all our failures and grievous sins...and may yet have that image restored to us of our baptismal innocence that we so desire! Renew within us that call to spiritual arms that will help us to fight and struggle on and at last be gifted with crown of life eternal. Grant to our poor fallen minds remembrance of our past transgressions and utter dark moments when we were filled with selfish aims and wickedness...so that we might weep with Your Most Holy Mother at the foot of Your Holy Cross and become transformed to rise again into what You call us to be: a new creation...Your body...alive and vibrant in the midst of the fallen world around us. O Lord hear us and have pity on us...for we have not been what we been what we could have been---nor even what we should have been, but only what we fashioned from the gold we found in our possession---and so we made idols of created things...and overlooked You, the God of all creation. O how pitible are we! Give us yet more time and the grace to use it well, that we may still beg Your mercy and grace for our souls! While it is still light...grant us moments of solitude and communion with You---so that we may transform our souls by Your grace into that vigilant man awaiting Resurrection with You! O God grant that this be so through the power of Your Holy Spirit, forever and ever, Amen.

Have mercy Lord and grant to our poor prayers a heartfelt hearing in the Holy Name of Jesus Our Risen Lord and Saviour!

Fr. Gregory, who asks for your holy prayers!

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thank you, Fr Gregory, for such a beautiful reflection!