Preparing for Lent
Beginning My Lenten Patterns
"Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over, and over again, expecting different results." This saying, commonly used in 12 Step programs, reveals a real wisdom. It can be a good beginning reflection as we examine the choices we will make in the days ahead. It is very simple. Our Lord is calling us to a "change of heart." And, we know from experience, that nothing will change, unless we change our patterns. To expect different results is insanity.
So, what needs changing? We start to come to know that by asking for help.
“Lord, help me to know what needs changing." It is often said, "Be careful about what you ask for." This is one of those requests that God must surely want to answer. Then, we have to listen.
With a little bit of reflection, most of us will just begin to "name" things that make up our ordinary habits and ways of being who we are, that
we aren't very proud of. Things we do and things we never get around to doing. We can "feel" the call to change our attitudes, our self-absorption, or our way of
interacting with others. Perhaps a spouse, a loved one, a friend, a family member, a co-worker has told me something about myself that gets in the way of
communication, that makes relating to them difficult.
Maybe I don't take God very seriously. I go to Church on Sunday, and contribute my share, but I don't really take time to deal with my relationship with God. Perhaps I've let my mind and fantasy get cluttered with escapist litter. I might begin to name a number of self-indulgent habits. I may realize I rarely, if ever, hear the cry of the poor, and can't remember when I've answered that cry. It could be that dishonesty on all kinds of levels has become a way of life.
One of the roadblocks in my relationship with God and others may be deep
wounds or resentments from the past, things I continue to hold against others or myself.
You are always merciful! Please wipe away my sins.
Wash me clean from all of my sin and guilt. - Psalm 51
From the Online Ministries, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
Visit the Online Ministries site: Praying Lent.