View all Weekly Emails |
Lent Hasn’t Started Yet: Weekly Message for 02-12-2019
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, Pax Christi:
I just wanted to make sure you realize that Lent hasn’t started yet. Because, well, frankly, you may be a little bit confused. You have probably already received more than a few emails making suggestions about how you can live Lent better. (I received my first one this year a few days after New Year’s Day.) Yet, Lent doesn’t begin for another three weeks. Ash Wednesday falls on March 6th this year. If we spend the next three weeks getting ourselves ready for a really good Lent, we may actually miss the graces that God wants to give us during these three weeks of Ordinary Time!
After all, Lent is a liturgical season, not a secular holiday. Thanksgiving-flavored advertisements (or even Christmas decorations) tend to start appearing the very day after Halloween. And that makes a lot of sense from a consumer-society point of view. But the liturgical year has a different logic.
During these weeks of Ordinary Time, we accompany Jesus through his public life. The liturgical readings remind us of his miracles, his teachings, his mercy, and his amazing personality. We have so much to learn from these mysteries of his life! And if we pay attention to this spiritual rhythm, we will incarnate in our own lives the meaning of the liturgical color for Ordinary Time – Green, symbolizing hope, growth, and thriving.
Don’t get me wrong. Here at RCSpirituality, we have PLENTY of great resources to help you live Lent deeply – more deeply than ever before if you want to (in fact, our newest Lenten Retreat Guide, Living Water will be available soon). And we will tell you all about them when the time is right. But there is no rush. Ordinary Time has its own beauty, meaning, and grace. Let’s not ignore that. Let’s not rush through it.
Liturgical prayer is one of the topics I cover in our online class – A Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity. Lesson 3 covers “Prayer, the Cross, and Purification.” Each Lesson has a series of short units – in this case, videos of PowerPoint presentations narrated by myself – that you can watch at your convenience. There is no rush, and you can reuse all the units as much as you like. Together, the units in this course gradually take you through a complete tour of the Spiritual Life, helping you understand what spiritual growth looks like, and what your part is in making it happen. You can learn more by visiting our Online Classroom.
So cheers to Ordinary Time and its opportunities for spiritual growth! Every single thing Jesus said and did is meant to be nourishment and light for all of us, as the Catechism puts it: “All Christ’s riches are for every individual and are everybody’s property” (#519). Let’s not miss the graces of Ordinary Time because we are anxious about not missing the graces of Lent.
Fr John Bartunek, LC