Prayer, fasting, almsgiving. These are
the usual Lenten practices. At first
glance they may come across to some as
fairly easy and to others as tremendously difficult. "Fairly easy?" That may seem like a strange phrase associated with Lent!
"Tremendously difficult" seems more
appropriate. If Lent is simply about
will-power and individual spiritual
"achievement", then it will be fairly easy.
If Lent is lived with the belief that
spiritual accomplishment is somehow
done mostly by us rather than primarily
by God who forms and transforms then it
will be tremendously difficult. Pope
Francis, though, calls us to the balance that we need during this holy season of renewal:
"Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him." (2015 Lenten Message).
Christ is offering through these three traditional ways of prayer, fasting and almsgiving an opportunity for us to be served by him. He wants to be in regular, consistent, and open communication with us (prayer), to help us use only what we need and even deny the desires of self in order to be more fully for him and for others (fasting), and to give of our time, talent and treasure to our brothers and sisters, especially the poor (almsgiving).
As a way to assist you in your renewal this Lent, the Center offers not only a page of many Lenten resources, but also our prayerful solidarity. We join also with the aspiration of Pope Francis expressed at the end of his Lenten Message:
"It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community."