Lenten Journey Day 11

February 23
Four Steps of Lent
(We will look at each of these over the next few days.)

Nurture the interior life.

The barrenness of the desert produced great spiritual fruit in the lives of the desert fathers. So, too, our Lenten “desert” can yield an abundant harvest for us as well. Daily prayer and a regular examination of conscience should lead us to the sacraments, to pious devotion, and to works of mercy.

In her wisdom, Holy Mother Church instructs us to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the season of Lent. It is through this sacrament that we receive the grace necessary to overcome the tactics and wiles of the evil one, to gain ground in our battle against personal sin, and to deal a mortal blow to particular weaknesses and failings.

But, the Sacrament of Reconciliation does more besides. “The Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continue, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation, even among her own members. This is the purpose of … the sacrament of Penance (CCC #1421). Through the grace of regeneration available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our sins are forgiven and health is restored. Once again, our souls become a fertile garden, capable of producing the sweetest of fruit.

Such an interior disposition of heart leads to a deeper devotion to the things of God. Reception of the Eucharist becomes what Our Lord intended it to be: a moment of union with His Real Presence; the liturgy becomes an opportunity to enter more deeply into the Sacred Mysteries; recitation of the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, private prayer, and other pious devotions work within the receptive soul to produce abundant fruit.

Like a garden irrigated by natural springs, grace bubbles up in the devout soul from the Fountain of Life Who is the Holy Spirit. And, as the springs prepare the soil for new growth, the grace in a holy soul enriches the lives of others through works of mercy and charitable acts. “All that we do to transform and improve our souls serves the divine cause” (Elisabeth Leseur). And that divine cause is the salvation of souls. Our life in Christ, nurtured through the sacraments and pious devotion, becomes a source of new life for others.

Today’s Reflection:
When was the last time I went to Confession?  Is the Lord calling me to go now?  Spend some time today with Him, asking Him to enlighten any areas of your heart that may house fear about going to Confession.  Then, pray for Him to give you the grace to go!  He will be your courage at this time!
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