A Desert with Roses: Ten Simple Resolutions to Enrich My Lent
I will . . .
1. Be ever mindful of God’s love for me, and rejoice in it! I refuse to lose sight of how much God loves me, even with my sins and shortcomings in the bargain. I choose to let His love define my days.
2. Gently, gradually reveal to my flesh that I can live without material things–but I cannot live without God. I will do this out of a spirit of joy, instead of a spirit of self-satisfaction and pride that hey, I’m making sacrifices for Lent. And as I sacrifice, I will thank God for His never-failing love and remind myself of how, consciously and unconsciously, my entire life relies on Him, and not on things.
3. Keep my eyes wide open for what God is telling me I should be doing during Lent – instead of growing fixated over what I think is best for me to be doing. His ways aren’t my ways, after all, so I won’t let this holy season become watered down into a pride issue or a checklist to be accomplished; rather, I’ll let it be a patient time of listening and growth.
4. Introduce time for spiritual reading every day. It doesn’t have to be an epic dive into difficult theology; reading a short biography of a different saint each day (such as from The Times Book of Saints by Bert Ghezzi) along with a short section of one of the Gospels, is a wonderful way to welcome the Holy Spirit into my heart.
5. Go outside more and witness how God has revealed His gift of new life through his marvelous creation.
6. Pray with joy . . . and pray more. Everything can be a prayer if offered to God with joy. Lent is the perfect time to “pray without ceasing.” I will listen to spiritually uplifting music that makes me ponder and rejoice in my Catholic faith.
7. At the advice of Mother Teresa, frequently place myself in the presence of God, asking and allowing Him to love me . . . especially when I feel tired and discouraged.
8. Look without prejudice into the eyes of my family and friends, and stop long enough to see Christ looking back at me.
9. View Lent not as a difficult desert to pass through quickly so I can arrive at the lush fields of Easter–but rather, as a desert that will blossom into roses . . . a desert I will never want to leave.
10. Spend this season learning to count the days to Heaven, and not only to mere life-changing events. “My soul is athirst for the living God: when shall I go and behold the face of God?”
By Mary Faustina