Ash Wednesday | iPray with the Gospel
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, … when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.'”
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Today we start Lent, a time of preparation for Easter. The word “Lent” comes from an old English word which means “springtime”. It reminds us of ‘spring cleaning’ and the new life evident in nature at this time of the year.
Lent is a time of special grace for us when we can do some spring cleaning in our lives and enjoy new life as a result. Sometimes people ask, ‘What are you doing for Lent?’ And they expect an answer like: ‘I’m giving up chocolate…’ There is only one thing that we should all strive to give up during Lent – sin!
Lent is like a stool which has three legs: prayer, sacrifice and charity. If one of the legs is missing, Lent cannot stand. So our Lenten resolutions should be in these three areas. Maybe we do not need to pray more but to pray better, to offer our usual mortifications but with a firmer intention; to be more generous when we give, and always give with a smile… Jesus, help me to be generous this Lent.
As St. Josemaria tells us: “Lent should suggest to us these basic questions: Am I advancing in my faithfulness to Christ, in my desire for holiness, in a generous apostolate in my daily life, in my ordinary work among my colleagues? Each one of us, silently, should answer these questions, and we will see that we need to change again if Christ is to live in us, if Jesus’ image is to be reflected clearly in our behaviour”.
Think: What can I do during Lent that will make a big difference to my prayer life?
Don’t forget now, at the beginning of Lent, to ask Our Lady for help to put your resolutions in practice.
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).