A Lenten Fervorino:
And so begins our annual trek through the desert of Lent! Yet, can we ask ourselves, “What are we doing?” or “What is the point?” Yes we can impulsively give up a dessert or refrain from watching a TV Show, yet where is our heart?
These penances are not about guilt or burdens, but rather about freedom and love. For John the Baptist enlightens us that, “He must increase but I must decrease” (John 3:30). We must empty ourselves of pleasures in life in order to receive the abundance of God’s grace.
How often do we find ourselves on autopilot and not actually living with awareness that God loves us and has a plan for us right now, in this moment? By giving up an earthly pleasure we desire, we are tangibly reminded of what is essential in life. Our lives are not about obtaining the next fleeting pleasure, but rather centered on the God who loves us with an infinite love.
As we enter Lent, let our hearts be given a new lens by which to offer up our sacrifices: We fast in order to cling to Jesus more closely. As we walk with Jesus in the desert, may he impress upon our hearts the certitude that he is with us through every aspect of our lives. Burdens and crosses will come, but in fasting we prepare our hearts to remain steadfast through adversity.
Just remember that our lives are worth more than food, money, and pleasure. We are children of God who are called to true bliss and happiness in heaven.