If you grew up Catholic, there are a few "Catholic" practices that have a universal call. When a baby is born, someone in the family remembers to call the church about Baptism. Extended families gather for Mass at Christmas. In second grade, some bell goes off that it is time for First Communion. Hopefully, these aren't the only calls we hear to practice our faith, but they may almost seem wired in us as Catholics. Another one that might evoke a call of heart is-- Lent.
For me, after the months of celebrations of the holidays and the busyness that follows, when Lent comes around, there is something in my spirit that longs for less. Less activity. Less sweets, Less doing, And something that longs for more. More introspection. More prayer. More focus on my relationship with God.
Lent has a definite call. The call to slow the merry-go-round of life. The call to remember Jesus and the wild, passionate love of a God who not only wanted to share our human walk but also to share our suffering. So, in Lent, we walk the stations of the cross. We pause to sign ourselves with ashes to remember we aren't here on this earth forever. We make attempts to engage in the three traditional practices of Catholics in Lent: Praying. Fasting. Almsgiving.
There is a simple prayer, found in a journal of the Noble Peace Prize winner,
that helps me with this focus:
Give me a pure heart that I may see Thee.
A humble heart that I may hear Thee.
A heart of love that I may serve Thee.
A heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.
I like to begin my days in Lent with this prayer. May your Lent be filled with less or more of what will nurture your heart with the love of God. I wish you peace and goodness that we all may live Lent well this year!