Whether we like it or not, Lent is upon us as of tomorrow (Ash Wednesday). It is a time for us to think and reflect on Christ’s Passion as well as to become much more sober-minded in our spiritual lives as well.
The meditation for today from Growth in the Knowledge of Our Lord concerned Our Lord’s forty days in the desert. It was a time that He spent in fasting and prayer before He began His public ministry in Galilee. In the same way, our Lent should also be a time for us to spend time with Christ in the desert.
Last Lent was a very fruitful one for me. It was a time when I became completely absorbed in the season in ways that I had not been before. I did not fast last year, but I did pray the Divine Office daily. As the days went by and the Passion drew inexorably near, I became much more focused on the journey and where I was going. By the time Easter Sunday came around, I had lived through one of the greatest dramas in our history over little more than a month and a half.
I suppose that one of the reasons why Lent worked so well for me last year was because I had established a daily prayer routine. I prayed the Divine Office seven times a day (Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline). With the daily lessons and scriptural readings that it provided, I was able to live the Church year together with the Holy Fathers of the Church and the numerous saints that the Church has placed on the calendar during these specific week.
Eventually, I was able to see how everything fell into its own place. The liturgy did not seem haphazard to me or thrown together. Rather, it assumed its own life. With the guidance of the Holy Ghost, everything had been planned out centuries ago so that Lent would be a fruitful period of time for all peoples in all nations.
The only thing that is preventing us from making use of this great store of wisdom and knowledge is our own foolishness and selfishness. After all, if we are not open to what the Church provides us how are we supposed to have a Lent that is life changing?
Let us think well on these things tomorrow and let us follow Our Lord into the desert.