General Lenten Points of Emphasis

Lent 2023 is officially underway. Thanks to Ash Wednesday, we are now on the journey to Holy Week. As I mentioned yesterday, Lent is a necessary time of preparation and reflection. In terms of tangibility, it takes the form of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Many Catholics will embrace Lenten intentions that practice these virtues to draw closer to God and to prepare for Easter.

Most of these individual Lenten intentions are also private intentions. Taking the cue from Matthew 6, it is important to perform Lenten deeds so God sees—not man. With that said, there are general Lenten attitudes that we can all adopt and strive for over the next 40 days. Here are three things to keep in mind as we try to make Lent 2023 as fruitful as possible…

Sloan and I after Ash Wednesday mass this morning.

Seize Control – In the end, God is ultimately in control and we need to always defer to him. But he did give us free will and we are faced with choices every single day that we must make. St. Paul sums up a depressing dilemma we all face by saying, “I don’t do what I want to do, and I do what I don’t want to do.” During Lent, let’s take every opportunity to do what we want to do in order to better walk with Jesus.

Stop the Noise – It is a timeless Lenten best practice to embrace silence and retreat from the cacophony of daily life. But each year it becomes seemingly harder and harder to do. Escaping notifications, text messages, emails, and other mindless distractions is difficult. However, it would serve all of us well to make a conscientious effort to block out the noise as much as possible. The power of total silence in the presence of God is something we all need.

Mend Relationships – Lent is the best time to reconcile with others. Whether big conflict or small conflict, we should reach out to those we have a strained relationship with. We can’t forget about God either. Repent and confess. As we walk through our personal deserts, we need to find opportunities to express humility.

May all my readers have a blessed Lent. God bless you all! Don’t Blink.

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