Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3Rs of Lent

I have been accompanying a friend through her faith walk since September. We have been making this journey with other people discerning and deepening in faith. 

This is an every Tuesday event. It does't replace my Tuesdays with PA (with God) time but I have neglected to write my thoughts. 

Today, we were asked to talk to our neighbour about what Lent has meant to us. I was privileged to speak with a friend who said that for him Lent is about 3Rs - Reflection, Renewal and Remembrance. 

Lent is an inward reflection or journey into one's self, assessing what needs to be sacrificed as God did during His 40 days of fasting and prayer. A lot of people in the class spoke about giving up worldly pleasures and looking into what real happiness means. Lent is a time to really look at what is essential, a sort of spiritual spring cleaning. It is a time to slow down and to listen and be silent. It also has to do with controlling one's self, not just for the season but as a gradual transformation. Another classmate said that she is trying to live Lent daily in her life. Her life has become a continuous prayer. This brings me to the 2nd R. 

My friend said that for him, Lent is a renewal of faith. It is an opportunity to bring back life to our spiritual life. Lent is a time when coupled with reflection can give new meaning to faith or give a refreshing look at faith. Going back to transformation, Lent can be a new beginning or a new resolve to change for the better. God has sent the Holy Spirit to help us and this is a time when we can open our hearts to listen to His call and to deepen our faith in Him. 

The 3rd R is remembrance of Christ. Lent is a time when we relive the 40 days of sacrifice of God before He gave up Himself for our sins and saved us. It is a time when we remember the great love that God has bestowed upon us - Love equivalent to giving us His only Begotten Son. What a wonderful gift. 

I would like to add a 4th R to this Lenten reflection - reconciliation. Today in class, we learned about confession or reconciliation. It is a sacrament of freedom given to us so that we may be united with Him and unburden ourselves from the guilt of our sins and by remembering the great parables of the prodigal son and the woman who was caught in adultery. "Has no one condemned you? Neither will I! Sin no more!" What a great burden lifted from her shoulder to know that she is loved beyond measure. What about the son who returned to become a slave hand only to find that his father did not want to hear his speech and instead threw a party upon his return. God is only waiting for us to return to Him and be reconciled with Him and our neighbours, to bestow on us His great love. He doesn't ask questions, He only ask that we be sorry and to sin no more. And even if we keep sinning, because we are imperfect, the sacrament of reconciliation offers us a new beginning. 

So for Lent, I leave you with the 4Rs - Reflection, Renewal, Remembrance and Reconciliation. 

I hope that the season of Lent will be meaningful for you and that your spiritual journey will be filled with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and that God may let you feel His unconditional love. 

God bless you.