As Lent rolls around each year, I find myself doing a sort of spiritual inventory of my life – a deep dive into my soul to see what areas I need to work on. The Lenten season has become for me like a Catholic compass, a time set aside to take a hard look at what direction I am spiritually headed.
Prior to the beginning of Lent, I contemplate what I have done in the past year to stretch beyond my comfort zone to seek God’s will and I reflect on the fears, struggles, and insecurities that have held me back from fully embracing it. I think about the areas of my life that I lacked self-discipline and as a result did not fully experience the freedom that comes from of a life lived in confident faith. Then I prayerfully and purposefully choose a few concrete things I can do throughout Lent to further align myself to God’s path for my life so I can more intentionally cultivate my relationship with Him and strengthen the weak links in my spiritual walk.
Lent is an ideal time to adjust the compass that guides us. It is a time to ask soul searching questions and to courageously seek answers. There is wisdom to be found in the answers that we discover, because the answers speak truth about our future.
The choices we make define who we are and to some degree forecasts what is forthcoming. Lent is a time to evaluate our choices and discern whether they are in line with God’s will for our life.
Lent is the season to take a spiritual bath in order to feast from a spiritual banquet.
The Sacrament of Confession is an an opportunity to clean our souls and fasting, penance and prayer are opportunities to spiritually nourish our souls.
Self-denial for a greater good and sacrificing to strengthen my spiritual muscles – admittedly I am not good at! Yet, I know that I need to be in control of my passions rather than allowing my passions to control me. I further understand that to sacrifice means “to make holy” and if I want to grow in holiness, I need to embrace living my life with a sacrificial heart. Lent is an ideal season to practice acts of self-denial and make small sacrifices to build spiritual endurance.
We cannot fully experience the joy of Easter Sunday without first walking through the desert with Our Lord to get there. There have been Lents where God has plopped me in the desert through the crosses He has asked me to carry and I was given the choice to allow the weight of the cross to be the instrument that year as my means to grow closer to Him or to be my excuse for not having any spiritual plan at all. Is there a cross you have been asked to carry recently? Fully embracing your cross is an opportunity for deep spiritual growth this Lenten season. Often our greatest path to holiness is simply embracing the cross we are given, while resisting the cross has the potential to damage to our spiritual health.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity this Lent to determine which direction you are spiritually headed and make the necessary adjustments and commitments to align your path and plan with God’s abundant path and plan for your life!