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Becoming More Aware of Our Relationship with God

What comes to mind when we think of Lent? I’m sure that everyone has some memories and associations with Lent. We may think of Lent as a time of giving things up, or a time of doing more good things. Biblically the season of Lent is connected with a journey of repentance, purification, and growth. Lent is a type of retreat which reminds us who we are before God, for it is only in accepting our own human limitations in the spirit of humility that we can receive union with God. We take advantage of Lent by being more intentional about our life with God. The Church, inspired by the example of Jesus, offers us three practices for Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. First, is prayer - it is our lifeline to God. Through prayer we allow God to speak to us and listen to us. Prayer does to our relationship with God what speaking does to our relationship with a friend. If I stop speaking to someone, I start drifting away in that relationship. If I stop praying, I lose my closeness with God. Look at prayer in your life: if you don’t pray then start, if you don’t pray well then try praying with greater attention. It is not necessary to pray for many hours, but to pray daily and to pray well. Second is fasting, which is a form of penance. It is clear from the Gospels that Jesus practiced the penance of fasting in his life, and encouraged his followers to do the same: “Some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting”. The practice of fasting leads to an attitude of detachment, a type of willingness to go without certain pleasures in life. Try to implement some type of fast in your life: either from food, favourite desert, some form of media. Try to spend more time on things that are good for the body and the soul. Lastly, there is almsgiving, which can also be called generosity of heart. The discipline of almsgiving invites us to share some of what we have with others as a reminder that what we own has been given to us by our loving God. Nothing is really ours. So, look at your closet, your bank account, your garage. Do you see clutter? Too many things? Why not share some of your possessions with those who are not as fortunate as you? It is better to have few things and use them and enjoy them, then to have many things that are not used or enjoyed. In conclusion, we must remember that all these Lenten practices are designed to help us with only one thing, becoming more aware about our relationship with God. We are dust, but we shall be saints in heaven. That is God’s vision for us, it should be our vision as well. Let’s try to live in the reality of what we will be - now. We are on this journey together, let’s support each other through prayers and events at our parish during this Lent.

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