Lent is so much more than just giving up some food item and being miserable about it for 40 days. Lent is one of the most, if not the most, holy times in our liturgical year. It is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving as walk in the desert with Jesus facing temptation and preparing for the resurrection of our Lord. Just like Jesus, we too are tempted and enter into a period of self-denial. Not only is it a time of sacrifice and discipline, it is also a time of great internal growth. Lent is the perfect opportunity to grow closer to our Lord, to come to know Him better, to look into ourselves and see our weakness and flaws and ask Him to work in us. It is a time to grow in faith and trust. It is a time to see the humility, power, strength, mercy, goodness and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Last year for Lent I decided to pray the Rosary everyday. I had prayed the Rosary before but not daily, and definitely not as much as I should’ve been. I had a yearning to grow closer to our Blessed Mother and I thought the perfect way would be through the Holy Rosary she left us. It changed my life. I gained an entirely new devotion to our Blessed Mother and it was one of the most beautiful Lenten experiences I’ve had.
As Lent approaches this year, I encourage anyone who may also be yearning to grow closer to our Blessed Mother to open your hearts to her. Seek her, thank her, spend time with her and ask her to intercede for you. Our Blessed Mother brought us our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and she continues to always guide us back to him. She wants us to know her son more than anything. Ask her to pray for you and she will because she is our heavenly mother. Turn to the Rosary and begin to spend time with it. Find peace and protection under her mantle. Whether you’ve never prayed the Rosary before or pray it daily, allow yourself to be filled with its grace. During these difficult times, find comfort in the nurturing embrace of our Blessed Mother.
“In the evening when you go to sleep, hold your beads, doze off reciting them. Do like those babies who go to sleep mumbling ‘Mama, mama.'”
— St. Bernadette
This year for Lent I will be challenging myself to grow closer to our Lord through written word – not only through the scriptures but also through other religious books I’ve been meaning to read for quite some time now. These other books include saint biographies and books written by our pope’s for example. It’s always helpful to read the stories of those who truly devoted themselves to the Lord during their time here on earth and have been blessed with the title of saint. These men and women serve as examples for all of us of how we should strive to live our lives as well. We should look to the characteristics and habits that helped them grow in their faith so that we can instill the same habits in our own lives. Being able to spend time with a book and allow your mind to be filled with it’s contents has always been a great escape for me and a method that truly helps me absorb the message being presented.
I hope that you too will grow in your faith this Lenten season and come to know our Lord at a deeper and more personal level. Take advantage of this time because it can be a powerful time of year. We walk in the desert with Jesus as he battled Satan and we rejoice on Easter morning knowing that our Lord and Savior died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. Allow your heart to seek Jesus, allow your ears to hear him, and allow your eyes to see his presence in your life. Lent can be difficult, but in these moments of struggle is when we grow stronger in our faith. Don’t give up, stand firm, and see the hope in Jesus who conquers all.
I’d love to hear what you’re doing for Lent this year. Let me know in the comments below!