March 14: My Lenten Reflections

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This past year I have been on a journey to respond to the environmental problems our earth faces by considering recyclable materials and sustainability in my purchases. To the call of “Reuse, Repurpose, Repair, Recycle”, I have added my own favorite- “Refuse”. Refuse what I do not really need. This calls for thought and discernment. This is the first step in stewardship of our planet.  In the realm of the spiritual life I also think about what to “Refuse”. Refuse those things that distract me and keep me from a deeper relationship with the Lord. How do I use my time, talent and treasure? How are my priorities? Do I need to “Refuse” some things in areas of my life to grow in others?  And during this Lenten season, I add the spiritual practices of “Repent, Return, Reconcile, Resolve, and Relearn”. I look at where I need to ‘repent’ and then ‘return’ to the Lord who is all merciful and all forgiving. The sacrament of Penance ‘reconciles’ me to the Lord and to my brothers and sisters and I ‘resolve’ to do better with God’s grace. This process involves my ‘relearning’ once again the great truths of God’s word and His call in my life. And finally “Redeem”. This last step though I cannot do. It is the Lord who in His mercy covers all my offenses. He has paid the price for my redemption with His own blood. All I can do is dispose myself through my Lenten practices to receive this great grace of His redeeming love.

May our Lent be filled with not only the practices that promote good stewardship of our planet, the home God gave us- “Refuse, Reuse, Repurpose, Repair and Recycle” but more importantly the spiritual practices that promote good stewardship of our hearts, where our God dwells- “Repent, Return, Reconcile, Resolve and Relearn”. The practices that help us to open our hearts to His Redeeming Love.