When I used to be a toddler, I believed of Lent as a dismal time. This was partly as a result of the place I grew up, the climate at the moment of 12 months was darkish and dreary. Nearly day by day, the clouds would cling low to the floor, emitting a misty drizzle that may coat my eyelashes. More than as soon as, I’d arrive at my classroom with my yellow raincoat and plaid jumper caked in mud after I slipped off the moist granite stepping stones marking the path to the faculty. Perhaps my notion of Lent as gloomy was additionally rooted in my give attention to Jesus’ Death, forgetting in my youthfulness that loss of life doesn’t have the remaining say.
When, someday later, I realized that root of the phrase Lent refers to the “lengthening” of days or “springtime,” my notion of this liturgical season modified. We want the chartreuse newness of springtime. We want the aromatic blossoms adorning the earth. We want the restorative heat of the solar in the identical manner that we want for the Lenten journey to not finish at Jesus’ Crucifixion. And so this 12 months, I’m embracing Lent anew. I’m going to do some gardening in the backyard of my coronary heart.
Tilling the Soil
We ask the Holy Spirit to be with us as we dig deeper into the place the place our relationship with Jesus grows.
When we until the soil, we break by way of the exhausting floor layer, break up the clumps of soil, and take away the rocks and outdated roots. What has hardened my coronary heart? What clumps block the manner when I attempt to open my coronary heart to Jesus? What stones am I coming throughout?
What outdated roots am I getting tousled in as I attempt to develop my relationship with Jesus? Are there any dangerous habits which have taken root inside me? Are there locations the place I want forgiveness or therapeutic? Am I holding quick to any unfaithful beliefs that I have to discard, akin to God doesn’t care; I may by no means be forgiven for…; or I’m not deserving of forgiveness?
How can I nourish the seed of the Word of God in my coronary heart? Perhaps I have to acknowledge that I want God’s assist to melt the hardness and get rid of the stones and clumps that block progress. Maybe I have to be intentional about reserving the time in my busy schedule to be silent and speak with Jesus. Perhaps I have to revisit the Sacrament of Reconciliation or speak with a religious pal or religious director. Maybe some religious studying can be useful.
Talk with Jesus
If you domesticate the backyard of your individual coronary heart with comparable reflections, think about your self sitting and speaking with Jesus about your solutions. Try to be as sincere as you’ll along with your finest pal or somebody who really and utterly loves you. If what you’re feeling appears disagreeable, don’t be afraid of offending Jesus. You may be brutally sincere and utterly assured that Jesus will stay, listening to you and loving you, it doesn’t matter what.
Notice any feelings that come up as you replicate on these questions. St. Ignatius believed that feelings may reveal the place God is main us. These are locations the place God needs to heal, encourage, or direct us. As you discover your feelings, speak with Jesus about them.
If you aren’t feeling a lot in any respect, that’s OK. Ask Jesus if there’s something he wish to disclose to you that you simply is perhaps holding deep inside that isn’t serving you properly. If you’re feeling distracted, don’t decide your self; simply speak about that. This prayer time is all about honesty in the dialogue.
Now, pay attention. What do you hear in response?
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