Lent is a sacred time of the year. On the surface, many cringe at the thought of Lent approaching, but deep down, faithful Christians anticipate this holy time with hopefulness that it will produce good fruit in their lives.
Jesus’ life was marked by sacrifice and suffering through which He bestowed His perfect love. We will never fully comprehend His divine soul, even in Heaven. The Blessed Trinity alone sees the fullness of each divine Person. Despite that, we must strive to comprehend our Lord’s human life so that we can share in His life, imitate Him, and receive the eternal rewards He desires to bestow upon those who love Him.
Recall Jesus saying, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13–14). Entering through that “narrow gate” is a path that requires resolve and sacrificial love. In order to take that constricted and challenging road, we must face difficult aspects of our lives, including our sins.
Facing our sins requires a depth of honesty and humility. It is easy to rationalize sin away and presume that God, in His mercy, will always forgive. God grants us forgiveness—but under the condition that we face our sins, repent of them, and work to amend our lives. This is no small task.
Furthermore, the closer we come to God, the more clearly we will see all that we did not see before. Sin becomes more evident as even the smallest imperfections come into the light. Achieving this level of attentiveness requires much diligence, prayer, and openness.
Since Lent is the most important time of year to consider our sins, spend time looking at your own failings from various perspectives. Do not get discouraged in the process. Ponder sin with hopeful anticipation of freedom from those sins. But that freedom will never be found unless you honestly, thoroughly, and continuously examine your soul from God’s perspective. If you desire a life of true sanctity, the process can seem tedious. Tedious, however, is not the same as scrupulous. Scrupulosity is an obsessive examination of sin without faith or trust in God’s endless mercy. When His mercy is incorporated, prayerfully purging even the tiniest sin from your life becomes a great joy and a path toward incredible freedom.
Lent concludes with the beginning of the Easter season. Keeping Easter in mind is essential as you walk through Lent, make sacrifices, examine your conscience, and confess your sins. Sacrifice, suffering, and death are disheartening if they are not a means to a greater end, and that end is the Resurrection of Christ and your sharing in His new life.
This book offers meditations for the Lenten season that are based on Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Additionally, reflections on the Sunday Gospels, the seven capital sins, and Holy Week will be provided. Since Lent lasts more than forty days when Sundays are counted, this book will offer separate reflections for every Sunday of Lent, leaving the rest of the days, through Holy Saturday, to account for the traditional forty days.
May the Lord grant you a fruitful and transformative Lent as you journey with Him through His forty days in the desert, His preaching and miracles, and His holy Passion.
Lord of all hope, as I begin this holy season of Lent, I pray that You will change me, transform me, and reveal to me all that You wish to convey. I open myself to Your holy will as completely as I am able and rely upon Your grace to do the rest. Help me to humbly and honestly examine my life so that I can be purged of my sins and more fully imitate Your sacrificial love. Draw me into Your Passion and death, dear Lord, so that I can share in the glory of Your Resurrection. Jesus, Messiah and King, I trust in You!