Ash Wednesday is fast approaching, and I have been diligently preparing for the season of Lent. I usually only book two parish missions during Lent, but this year I booked four in an attempt to accommodate as many parishes as possible. The only two weekends not booked in Lent with a parish mission are weekends in which I am involved in diaconate formation.
As I have been preparing my homilies and presentations, I have been drawn into a reflective mindset about my own Lenten journey. I obviously want to expend my energy for God's people as best as I am able. However, in order to do that well, I must be rooted in prayer myself. I cannot give to others what I myself do not possess. I need to be well-prepared for my teaching and preaching, but the first step must always be prayer. If God's Holy Spirit is not at work in me I have no power to proclaim the Sacred Word in a way that cuts to the heart.
Subsequently, I am going to use these days of rest and relaxation to enter more fully into prayer, reflection, and just listening for God's quiet voice in my inner soul. This will also be a time to give some thought to Lenten resolutions. What do I want to experience this Lenten season? Why? What do I need to do to make it happen?
How about you? When Easter arrives, what do you want to be able to see as you look back at the prior 40 days of Lent? How will your life of prayer be enhanced? What works of charity will you do? What will you study and learn? Give some thought to this now. Do not let this holy season pass you by without growing in union with God.
Ash Wednesday is March 1, 2017. Will you accept the invitation to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel?