We are full-time into Lent, this being the ninth day. It would seem that this year my Lenten practice – largely dictated by necessity – lies in almsgiving. Almsgiving in the broader sense of doing for others in acts of charity and service. My work at the office has been hectic, the needs of the parish several, and my preparation to see my brother is beckoning. It has consumed a lot of energy.
Between preparing for several homilies the past couple of weeks, assisting at Mass, being present to my bishop, and a funeral liturgy, I have also had to abstain from some of my usual enjoyable activities — a daily post on this blog, for instance. It has been quite some time since I have written an original narrative, save last Sunday’s homily.
In these forms of abstinence and almsgiving, a lot of prayer is thrown into the mix.
So at the end of the day, I guess I am getting in the three pillars of Lent after all.
It seems to me the basic purpose of Lent is conversion to our God. Conversion, a word that has the same roots as “converse” in the sense of having a conversation, a colloquy with God. Conversion in the sense of “going with,” or “running with” Him who has given us all things and created us to be who we strive to become. In this sense then, all of Lent is an abstention from what distracts or isolates and a new vision of faith in which we see God in all we do, in all we meet, and in every opportunity to serve.
What a wonderful grace… the season of Lent.