Sunday, February 24, 2013

On the Lenten Road ~or~ Lent isn't just for Catholics

The season of Lent is upon us!  
Even though this is a desert season, I'm always excited to begin this journey!  We begin Lent in the cold and darkness of winter and pilgrimage towards the spring of Light and Life which is Easter!
Each of us have those habits or inclinations that we know, are keeping us from becoming the husband/wife/father/mother/friend/person, that we were created to be!  Whatever that thorn in your side is, if you're anything like me, you've made resolution after resolution to get over it!

The world gives us New Years Day!  After a busy holiday season, we all are eager to get started on our New Year's resolutions!  Jan1st, we tell our selves, that's the day!  I'll change this for good!  And within a short period of time, we fall back into old habits.

In her wisdom, the Church has given us Lent!  Where New Years Day is just a starting block.  Lent is a gym!  We spend 40 days praying, fasting, and giving!  In the Church we are given the equipment to work out, in the sacraments and traditions of our Lenten practices.  And day after day, for 40 days we're in this gym together!  Talk about accountability!  Every Catholic you know, is working out right next to you!  And coaching!  Man, have we got the coaches and trainers to keep you on track!  There is a wealth of 2000+ years of coaches to keep you motivated!  In the biographies of the holy men and women who have gone before us, you can see the merit of sacrifice, the joy in suffering, and the reward of perseverance!

{Having never really been an athlete, the irony of my analogy is not lost on me... but it makes sense}

Lent isn't just for Catholics

Yet, while Catholics are the ones who keep Lent,
and the Church is one who began this tradition, there isn't any reason non-Catholics can't join in!  The beauty and practicality of this tradition has value for anyone who desires more for their life!  We could all use 40 days in this gym!  40 days to stretch, strengthen, and grow!

Like working out at home, you can practice Lent outside of the Catholic Church.  There are those who have the self motivation and self discipline to stick to a work out plan at home.  But for many of us, we need the accountability and equipment we gain when we join a gym.  Also, the converse is true! There are MANY who join a gym, but never take advantage of all it has to offer.  I hope you see the analogy to the Church here ;)

Like all of the Church's teachings and traditions, the practice of Lent is based in Natural Law.  Natural Law governs all of humankind.  Catholic or Protestant; Christian or Atheist... Natural Law is written on our hearts.

The Law of Sacrifice
In nature, there is a law of sacrifice.  It states that in order to gain something that you want, you must give up something in return.

We all know this to be true!  Lent formalizes this natural law!  And the Church equips us to be successful in our efforts!

What do you need to get rid of in order to become the person you were created to be?

Set the World on Fire

St. Catherine of Sienna said "Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire!".  God created us all for something great!  What that great thing is, is different for each one of us.  That is our journey, to work, to sacrifice, in order to be who God meant us to be! 

While looking up that St. Catherine quote to make sure I got it right, I found another amazing quote!  She also said "All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, I am the Way."  So this sacrificial road that we are on, is joy because we do not travel it alone, and all of our suffering and sacrifice will bring about changes in our lives that bring us closer and closer to becoming that person who will set the world on fire!  
So now, while we are just at the outset of this Lenten journey, in this cold, dreary, claustrophobic winter season, we start with the end in mind.  We know that sacrificing for today will change us and bring us closer to becoming the person who will set the world on fire!


  1. Keep working to destroy the ACA. Before long every add from Americans for Prosperity will be discounted as untrue and misleading. Nice being tied to the Koch's boys too. Was your maiden name Devos? By the way, my wife and daughter, both enjoy the products you sell on stay. By they also appeciate honest merchants.

  2. Shame on you for your misleading ad by the Americans for Prosperity attack on the Affordable Care Act!!! It was YOUR choice to purchase the more expensive health insurance plan rather than the cheaper subsidized health plan on the exchange and then say the ACA is destroying the middle class. You call yourself a Christian but your behavior is anything but. Jesus would be ashamed of your politics and your Republican party's attack the poor. Read your own Mother Teresa quote on your blog and spread your love EVERYWHERE you go. LET NO ONE ever come to you without feeling happier.