Seasonal Reflection:  Lent, 2020

by Karen Mack

Reflecting on Peace



Li
ke most senior citizen Catholics, when I think of Lent, I think “What am I going to give up this year?”. As a product of Catholic education all the way through college, that question was engrained in me.  I remember, for example, folding up a little brown cardboard bank to put my penny candy money in to aid the starving children in Africa. And so, for too many years to count, I gave up something. Sometimes I was successful throughout the season, but more often than not, I wasn’t. Surely I must have gotten a few “brownie points” for at least trying to be good.

I realize now that Lent isn’t just about trying to be good. It is more about trying to do good. It is a time of reflection about who you are, how you think about life, how you interact with others, from those closest to you to those who are strangers, and about your relationship with your God. It is about making yourself a better person, so you can be a better person to others. It is about asking tough personal questions and then shoring up weaknesses in relationships, in your faith and in your love of God when those tough questions are answered.

So this year, I am not asking the “give up” question. I am asking “What am I going to do this year to make myself and my world a bit better?”.  And sure, that may mean giving up some things, too. But it won’t be candy or cookies or pasta or steak. It will be prejudices, and grudges, and doubts, and indifference. It will be trying to resurrect all the good and all the faith in me so that I can truly rejoice in Christ’s resurrection with a more open and giving heart.   And if I do that, I know that I won’t be gouging myself on Easter Sunday with chocolate bunnies, marshmallow peeps and jelly beans. My Easter basket will be filled instead with more self-awareness, more tolerance, a more generous spirit, and a stronger faith in God and divine Wisdom.

 



Prayer for Transformation

 

Loving Father,

I invite you into my life today
and make myself available to you.
Help me to become the-best-version-of-myself
by seeking your will and becoming a living example
of your love in the world.
Open my heart to the areas of my life that need to change
in order for me to carry out the mission
and experience the joy you have imagined for my life.
Inspire me to live the Catholic faith
in ways that are dynamic and engaging.
Show me how to best get involved in the life of my parish.
Make our community hungry for best practices
and continuous learning.
Give me courage when I am afraid,
hope when I am discouraged,
and clarity in times of decision.
Teach me to enjoy uncertainty and lead your Church
to become all you imagined it would be
for the people of our times.

Amen.

from Dynamic Catholic Prayers for Lent

 




Suggested Actions

  • - Spend a few minutes each night reflecting on the events of your day. What did you do to make it a good one for yourself and others? Where could you have done more?

  • - Seek out a person with whom your relationship has been strained and try to improve it.

    - Reach out to strangers you might normally ignore. A simple smile or greeting in passing by can go a long way.

    - Make an honest self-assessment and take steps to make a transformed version of you.

  • And don't forget to join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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Reflection Archives

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