by Adele M. Gill
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Happiness is often a matter of mind over matter; but true joy is a spiritual gift that comes solely through the grace of God. For many, Lent is a time of sacrifice, a time to reflect on our spiritual lives. It is a time to give something up or let something go. Generally, we emerge from Lent with renewed fervor as we feel personally closer to Jesus Christ. But consider how different this rich season, the Lenten season, would be if we utilized tried to emulate Jesus by using this season as a time of outreach to others. A time to do as much as possible to enrich the lives of others asking nothing in return.
For many Christians, Lent is a special time when we focus squarely on trying to grow spiritually. In a way, it is traditionally a time of personal reflection and offering sacrifice. Catholics in particular do a variety of things during this holy season. Some Christians give up favorite foods like chocolate or other candy. During Lent many get ashes on Ash Wednesday, abstain from meat and avoid eating in between meals on Fridays, try to go to Mass more regularly during the week, go to confession, receive palms on Palm Sunday, attend Holy Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These are all great ways to recognize Lent, but there is so much more we could do to give God glory, and grow spiritually during the 40 days of Lent.
Here are 12 other ways you can easily make Lent a spiritually life-changing time of year; 12 ways to find Lenten Joy:
- Volunteer to work with the sick, disabled, the grieving, or the poor.
- Visit a local nursing home to cheer the residents there.
- Engage in a campaign of doing random acts of kindness.
- Bless others with intentional acts of kindness.
- Engage in a letter writing campaign to promote Pro-life legislation.
- Reach out and take time to listen attentively to others who are hurting.
- Pray for those in most need of God’s mercy.
- Pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
- Join a ministry/committee at your church.
- Share the gospel with at least one person each day.
- Put aside 15 minutes per day to pray and read the Bible.
- Say/pray the rosary daily.
Inclusion of one or more of these activities is sure to provide ample opportunities to grow in faith and closer to a personal relationship with Jesus during Lent and beyond. They will enable you to emerge from the Lenten season refreshed by adopting some new ways to reach out in faith. I like to think of Lent as a sort of reset for on my life, both through my mind-set, and activities. Any combination of these activities allows us to reemerge from this holy season with renewed fervor and focus on Jesus Christ. With restored focus, we are in a prime position to change our lives for the better even after Lent is over, as these activities can easily be incorporated into our daily lives.
Lent is a great time for personal transformation. With a little effort on our part, it can be the beginning of a holier life, one with a rejuvenated spirit as you strive to continue to serve God in unprecedented ways ongoing. Utilizing Lent as a time of change through action, rather than just sacrifice, you will soon realize the sheer joy of growing into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and experience peace that surpasses understanding.
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”
© 2017 | Distributed by the News Consortium