Every year as Lent rolls around I find myself doing a sort of spiritual inventory of my life – a deep dive into my soul to see what areas I need to work on. In many ways, Lent has become my Catholic compass, a time when I determine what direction I am spiritually headed. I prayerfully choose a few concrete things that I can do throughout the Lenten season that will adjust my direction to more purposefully follow God’s path for my life and to more intentionally cultivate my relationship with Him.
Prior to the beginning of Lent, I contemplate what I have done in the past year to stretch beyond my comfort zone to follow God’s plan for my life. I also reflect on the fears, struggles, and insecurities that have held me back from growing in all the ways that God desires for me to grow. I think about the areas of my life that I lacked self-discipline and therefore did not fully experience the freedom that comes from of a life lived in confident faith. After doing my spiritual inventory, I prayerfully design a plan that I trust will help me nurture my relationship with Christ and strengthen the weak links in my spiritual walk.
Lent is an ideal time to adjust the compass that guides us. It is a time to ask soul searching questions and to courageously seek answers.
There is wisdom to be found in the answers that we discover, because the answers speak truth about our future. The choices we make define who we are and to some degree forecasts what is forthcoming. Lent is a time to evaluate our choices and discern whether they are in line with God’s will for our life.
Self-denial for a greater good and sacrificing to strengthen my spiritual muscles – I admittedly am not good at! Yet, I know that I need to be in control of my passions rather than allowing my passions to control me. I further understand that to sacrifice means “to make holy” and if I want to grow in holiness, I need to embrace living my life with a sacrificial heart. Lent is an ideal season to practice acts of self-denial and make small sacrifices to build spiritual endurance.
We cannot fully experience the joy of Easter Sunday without first walking through the desert with Our Lord to get there. There have been Lents where God, through the crosses He has asked me to carry, plops me in the desert and I have had the choice to allow the weight of the cross to be the instrument that year as my means to grow closer to Him or to be my excuse for not having any spiritual plan at all. Sometimes, fully embracing the cross we are asked to carry is the greatest path to holiness, while resisting the cross does the most damage to our spiritual health.
Lent is the season to take a spiritual bath and feast from a spiritual banquet. Through fasting, penance, prayer, sacrifice and the Sacrament of Confession, we have an opportunity to clean our soul up and spiritually nourish it.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity this Lent to determine which direction you are spiritually headed and make the necessary adjustments and commitments to entirely align your path and plan with God’s abundant path and plan for your life!
Copyright 2018 Kathleen M. Billings