At some point last week I became aware of two things: #1 Lent was just around the corner and #2 I didn’t have a plan. I knew I didn’t want to try to take up a random act of self-denial. Recently God has shown me in some gentle but clear ways how much I rely on self-will and honestly I’m pretty done with putting in a lot of effort to eventually experience not a lot more than my own limitations.
So I first called to mind the reason why the Church offers us the disciplines of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer. Together they help us direct our entire being back to God: our external goods back to Him through almsgiving, our bodies back to Him through fasting, our souls back to Him through prayer. Then I began to ponder what these things looked like from God’s perspective and it led to a deeper appreciation of His generosity and desire for communion with each of us.
What is God’s almsgiving? The entire created universe, in all its glory, beauty, and wonder is freely given to us to know that there is a Creator and He is good. What is fasting from God’s perspective? He deeply desires to be united to us and yet restrains Himself from forcing this desire on us so as to not overwhelm our freedom. He invites and patiently awaits our response. And finally, how does God experience prayer? For Him it is joy, union, and love. The Catechism puts it this way, “Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours.” Ironically, when we open ourselves to Him and begin to experience just how much we need Him, in the midst of our dryness we are quenching His thirst to be in relationship with us.
My prayer for each of us this Lent is that our almsgiving, fasting, and prayer goes beyond the human experience of these disciplines and is transformed into deeper communion with the One who enters into His own way of almsgiving, fasting, and prayer with overflowing generosity in order for us to know His love.
Sincerely in Christ,
Directress, Women Youth Apostles