February 16, 2021 by eneubauer
Lent is just around the corner now and the sub-zero temperatures along with record snowfall have conspired to slow me down. So today I decided to do those things that, as a Catholic, I mean to do daily but often fail to do because of mental distraction. After getting some work done, cleaning up, and eating lunch I decided to hunker down in my room to spend some time in prayer and reflection.
In the midst of my “distracted life,” it took me a bit to get myself in a state of mind to pray and experience the quiet. What always amazes me is just how comforting the presence of God is as we pray, meditate on the life of Jesus Christ, and allow Him space to speak while we listen. I was blown away by how the “tyranny of the urgent” seemed to melt away as I allowed (the peace of) Christ to have His way. This embrace of the quiet allowed me the time and space to focus on God’s still small voice operating within my (our) heart. I was reminded at this moment that He is always with me even when I disappear for a period of time. As scripture states, “He will never leave or forsake us.”
Today was a reminder of why I (we) need Lent. Sometimes mental distraction and life conspire to throw me a curveball and I forget just how good it is to be with God. I forget how much I need Him and how available He is to us. If God is to be the central figure of my life, my true north, then I must measure the direction of my life against this point on a daily basis. I cannot afford to experience “spiritual drift” too often or for too long. It is the fastest way to experience a shipwreck to the spiritual life.
Today, at the start of this holy season and leading up to Ash Wednesday, I am reminded how important Jesus is and how my faithful adherence to Lenten spiritual practices can assist me in drawing even closer to Him. Today, I am reminded of the why behind our commitment to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (charitable acts). It has become clear that I cannot simply afford to “give something up” of my own creation, but must commit myself to follow a path set out by someone else. Why, because I don’t trust myself. Because I always seem to find an excuse to take something back that I have determined to give up. This year I am going to follow the Exodus 40 plan and allow myself to be challenged! I commit to remove all the distractions and go on a journey with Jesus for the next forty days.
I plan to use this space to update you on my journey as I seek to grow closer to Jesus Christ and His Church.