How’s your Lent going so far? Sometimes we can view Lent as that time of darkness or 40 days of agony until we can do or have the things we gave up and often a season to just get through or try to avoid. Sometimes the penances or challenges of giving up the things we enjoy or changing the ways we have become comfortable allow for a struggle and accept change in our hearts.
I can remember times in my own life when I would begin grumbling as the beginning of Lent was approaching. My false idea of Lent was that Jesus did not want me to be happy or joyful for 40 days but rather I was to walk around moping with a sad almost mournful appearance. Well this is definitely false! This is not at all what Jesus wants us to do during this season of Lent. Yes, we do recognize our great need to turn away from our sinfulness and look at how we can grow in virtue and change our vices but there is HOPE! Even in this time of fasting from the things we enjoy, Jesus tells us “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites… But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden” Matthew 6:16,18.
Jesus has given us this time of Lent not to be sad or gloomy but to draw close and encounter the love of His Sacred Heart! Think of these next 40 days as a retreat. We put aside the material things that do not last so that Christ may increase and be at the center of our hearts! The things of this world can so easily distract and draw us away from the One who is waiting to lavish us with His love. Jesus gives us this time to go to a new and deeper depth in our hearts a place we have never gone before to ENCOUNTER Him. He wants us to be captured by His loving gaze. Encounter Him in a new way this Lent. Do not be afraid. He is full of gentleness, kindness, patience and mercy. Go deeper into this burning love of our Savior who has given everything to win us back and present us as beautiful and precious gifts to the Father, washed clean through the blood and water which poured from His Sacred Heart. What more could He give to us than Himself. He gives us everything and we can draw from this Sacred Heart all the graces which we need daily. Receive Him!
With this deep abiding love, Jesus calls to you, “Come and seek Me, abide in Me and My LOVE”. Lent can be a time of joy, joy of experiencing the Heart of Jesus, the joy of knowing we are loved by God. He desires deeply to fill us with His joy until it is overflowing out of us. So don’t forget to smile during this time of Lent and rejoice in the love of God! Allow His love to consume your Heart and do not be afraid to unite your heart with His Heart.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
- Sister M. Isabella, FSGM