My family braved the cold last night and went to Ash Wednesday Mass. Father Bob’s message was a good one. The purpose of Lent is to bring us closer to God. He said to do the following three things for Lent; be better, treasure God, and remove all things that distance us from God. Well, that about sums up what we should be doing in life, don’t you think?
Be better; this is what our New Year’s Resolution is always about, bettering ourselves. This is also what Lent is about, getting rid of the bad habits and replacing them with good ones. Think of something that will make you a better person overall. Don’t make your goal something unattainable, start with the small bad habits first.
Treasure God; we don’t do this enough in our every day life. Our lives are moving so quickly, and we are caught up in the production of everything. Our culture says, if we are not busy and producing then we are worthless. It is OK to stop and simply praise God. Many nights after I am tucked into my warm bed snuggled up with my husband, I thank God for my life and begin to say thank you for each one of my blessings. Sometimes, thanking God and thinking about my blessings overwhelms me with gratitude to the point of tears. We should treasure God and all of our blessings daily!
We should remove all those things that distance us from God. Wow! Our culture sure doesn’t thrive on this idea. Our culture feeds us a constant lie that materialism will fill our hearts and make us happy. However, the truth is the more we own and have the more distance we have between us and God. We need to get rid of the stuff, the junk that we obsess over, the habits that lead us to immoral choices, the thoughts that isolate us from the love of God. What things, ideas, thoughts, or habits distance you from God?
Today, think about the three things we need to do for Lent. Name a way you can engage in this challenge. Say it out loud and make a promise to yourself to work on each one for the next 40 days. Let these promises bring you closer to God. Just ask my students that is the purpose of religion and my work to bring you closer to God.