Friday, 16 February 2007

And what are you doing?

There isn't much time left, so in case you haven't already, it may be worth considering how to make the most of the upcoming season of Lent. At this point, I would like to share one of the most useful maxims I have heard from a priest on the subject: "Don't think what you can do for Lent, but think what Lent can do for you". I am always wryly amused when agnostics and atheists spend ages discussing what they will be giving up (well, God does work in mysterious ways). We need to remind ourselves that Lent should not be an excuse for a diet-our spiritual and temporal needs should not be confused. Having said that, Catholics seem to have forgotten about the benefits of austerity in our spiritual lives. Many people are horrified by the use of a cilice, forgetting that such mortification was practised by many people in the middle-ages. Nor was it used for masochistic purposes, another priest reminded me last year that mortification was of no value unless offered to God. Hence, if you intend to follow a gentler form of mortification (such as giving up alcohol), do so for the love of God and not for your own sake. Another suggestion is to revive the practice of a particular devotion, or invest in some spiritual reading. In order to help my dear readers, I will post a short meditation or link every few days. Stay tuned for details, and pray about it.

1 comment:

Mac McLernon said...

Emitte, Emitte, Emitte...

...remember you need to address prayer, almsgiving and penance during Lent!

The almsgiving can be time instead of money - visiting a sick person, for example. All three are needed.