Lent 2001 is upon us and what a grace-filled 40 days it can be for us!
The season of Lent is a time for us to give ourselves a spiritual
check-up. We ALL need to see
where we are with God and our neighbor.
Two ways to help ourselves get a
good look are prayer and
It is always heart-uplifting to see so many more people going to weekday
Masses during Lent. I
see so many people genuinely and faithfully attending daily Mass when
ordinarily they don’t. This is a
good Lenten practice. So many people have jobs, but plan their day so that
they can attend Mass during
their lunch hour, before going to work or in the late afternoon.
Lent is a time to mortify ourselves in some way. That term may sound
repulsive to those who
have not been well-schooled in the importance of discipline in our spiritual
I always like to
compare our spiritual health and our physical health. We all would agree
that a very sedentary and
self-gratifying form of physical living would bring about an unhealthy body
that’s weak, flabby and
lethargic. We need to eat good food and get sufficient rest and exercise to
have a healthy body.
The same is true for our spiritual lives. If we give in to every
inclination that comes upon us,
especially, in matters of sin; if we do not feed out souls frequently on the
Everlasting Food, which is Our
Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist; if we do not daily give our souls the kind
of “rest” that prayer and
regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation brings to us, we will be
spiritually weak, flabby and
We need Lent. We human beings tend to take the easy way out on most
things. The road to
Heaven, however, is not and will never be an easy one. If we are not
physically fit, we cannot run a
marathon. If we are not spiritually fit, we cannot run the spiritual race
and win the prize of eternal life.
We MUST pray extra during Lent and we must discipline ourselves in such a way
that our souls will
The word “mortify” means to “die to.” Even Jesus said we must die to
ourselves that we might
live in Heaven. Avoiding sin means saying “no” to ourselves and temptations
that lead to sin. This
requires discipline. This requires that we form “habits” of choosing the
right things instead of the bad
We can discipline ourselves by giving up certain foods and/or drinks.
People who smoke can
give up smoking. People can give up television, parties, eating out during
Lent, sweets, for example.
Our Lady of Medjugorje said that everyone can “fast” in some way. She
said that the best fast is
to fast from sin.
Is/are there mortal sin(s) which you frequently commit that may be
bringing you to the brink of
loosing your soul? Using or selling drugs, fornicating, committing adultery,
If your conscience is still alive, you know what your grave sins are. It
is God’s Will that you
avoid these, confess them and make your life right with God.
Let’s start today to give ourselves a spiritual check-up. Let’s be
honest with ourselves. Let’s be
determined that with God’s help we will make this the best Lent ever by
praying more, by “fasting” in
some way. Don’t forget alms-giving. God wants us to help those less
fortunate than ourselves.
More next week. God bless you!