Our Journey Through Lent
Fr. Donal Doyle, S.J.
March 6, Ash Wednesday, marks the start of this year’s Lenten season, a 40-day period during which all Christians are called upon to journey with our Lord Jesus Christ through His suffering so we can share in the glory His resurrection. Fr. Donal Doyle, SJ very kindly shared with us some “Tips on How to Live Lent” culled from different speeches of Pope Francis, words of wisdom which withstand the winds of time.
Get rid of the lazy addiction to evil
“Lent is a powerful season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us and thus we leave behind old habits and the lazy addictions to the evil that deceives and ensnares us.”
Do something that hurts
“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”
Don’t remain indifferent
“Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience. God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation.”
Pray: Make our hearts like yours!
“During this Lent, then, dear brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: MAKE OUR HEARTS LIKE YOURS (Litany of the Sacred Heart). In this way, we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent, or prey to the globalization of indifference.”
Take part in the Sacraments
“Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: The Body of Christ.”
“In face of so many wounds that hurt us and could harden our hearts, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of God’s boundless love. Lent is a time of prayer, of more intense prayer, more prolonged, more able to take on the needs of the brethren, intercessory prayer, to intercede before God for the many situations of poverty and suffering.”
“We must be careful not to practice a formal fast, or one which in truth ‘satisfies’ us because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it also leads to some benefit for others, if it helps to cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bends down to his brother in need and takes care of him. FASTING MAKES SENSE IF IT QUESTIONS OUR SECURITY.”
“Today gratuitousness is often not part of daily life, where everything is bought and sold. Everything is calculated and measured. Almsgiving helps us experience giving freely, which leads to freedom from the obsession of possessing, from the fear of losing what we have, from the sadness of one who does not wish to share his wealth with others.”
Help the Poor
“In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination, and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury, and money become idols, they take priority over the need for fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.”
“The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and darkness.” sisters experiencing