Four Steps of Lent
(We will look at each of these over the next few days.)
Let go of distractions. We are a distracted people; Lent invites us to detach. It invites us to come away for a while and listen for the Father’s voice. As we read in the Old Testament, God speaks in a “tiny whisper” (cf. 1 Kings 19: 11-13). We must slow down the tempo of our lives and tone down the volume of our days if we are to hear the voice of God. We must minimize the activity and noise and maximize the quiet and solitude. We must create a “desert” for ourselves - a quiet spot at home or in the back yard, a neighborhood park, or before the Blessed Sacrament or the tabernacle in our parish. All of these may provide precisely the perfect place of retreat.
Lent provides us with opportunities to develop certain attitudes toward our lives. Our “desert” should include a time of reflection that looks back over the day in light of God’s word to see what He may be revealing. Attention to the liturgical readings of the Lenten season provides an ideal framework in which to contemplate the movement of God in the midst of our life’s events.
We should seek the “desert” in the environment of our daily lives rather than searching out the unusual or special. As St. Teresa of Avila writes, “We need no wings to go in search of Him, but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.” Our time of prayer will go much better and be more fruitful if we practice the presence of God on a regular basis. Turning off the television and the radio, pruning back some of the unnecessary activities of our daily lives, replacing recreational reading with inspirational reading are all ways we can “close out” the clutter and clatter and “close in” the reality of God’s presence within us. God desires to commune with us. But, the clutter and the clatter can crowd Him out.
Today, how is God calling me to seek the "desert" in my life?
As of today, how is your Lent going so far? Where is God calling you to go deeper with prayer, fasting and almsgiving? If you are looking for Lenten ideas, click here for a great tool to help you at this time!
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