March 12, 2017
“The words “I want to be holy” mean: I will divest myself of everything that is not of God; I will divest myself and empty my heart of material things. I will renounce my own will, my inclinations, my whims, my fickleness; and I will become a generous slave to God’s will” (Kerry Walters:
St. Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary, Mother, Mystic).
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once referred to Lent as “a retreat during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus… using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.”
“Pay attention to what is happening around you. There’s a good chance that God is speaking to you without using words” (Gary Zimak:
Stop Worrying and Start Living).
Daily we experience spiritual realities in which Christ works through others and in us. And daily Jesus makes available to us our daily bread; but, due to our (cultural and worldly) blindness we are at times are like the apostles. They saw his works and deeds and were unable to understand what Jesus was speaking of; the mystery of the kingdom of God. During the season of Lent we have the opportunity to remove the spiritual blinders that keep our faith from increasing.
“Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand … He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” (Mt. 16:9).
“The greatest things in this world are the things that we cannot see” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Each Saturday we have the opportunity to remove the blinders in life that keep us from experiencing God’s healing touch on our spiritual and physical life. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we have the opportunity to repent and restore our relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation four things take place: confession of sin; contrition, or sorrow for sin; penance, the desire to avoid sin; and absolution from sin. We move towards God and God moves towards us.
The disciples eventually did recognize that what mattered most in the world; it was not the things of this world but of the eternal life about which Jesus spoke. The apostles soon understood that to contemplate his invitation to live in evangelical poverty is by “giving up” material things, “taking up” charitable habits and “lifting up” others in need.
During Lent, let us be like the apostles and continuously stay close to Christ, allow him to correct and improve us as we strive to recognize what he promised us; an eternal life with him in heaven.
“Father, be patient with the ways we are blind to your kingdom. Through Christ, the light of the world, free us from the darkness of sin and ignorance that distort our vision. Restore our sight that we may see clearly and distinctly the path of discipleship that lead to you. Amen” (
Fr. Terry Ehrman, CSC).