By Claire Couche
As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…He knows your weakness.
He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.
-Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Lent is a beautiful time to grow in deeper love with Christ. We have just entered into the greatest love story—a divine romance—with the King of our heart. He who loves us so completely wants our love and the chance to love us. Let Him love you this Lent.
During these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, the Church invites us to self-reflect and honestly ask God how He sees us and the ways that we can better ourselves for Him. Each Lent we have the opportunity to enter into Christ’s passion and suffering in a real and deep way. We have the chance to ask Christ to make our hearts more like His: merciful, attentive, generous, and eager to love.
Yet for a transformation to take place within us, we must put in the effort. For our lives to bear fruit, we must plant the seeds and nourish the garden of our body and soul. This may seem overwhelming, but when we realize that Christ is our love and that He is our soul’s spouse, we can rest in the knowledge that He will lead us, just as a husband leads a wife.
Here are three ways that we can open our hearts and give permission to Christ to lead us to the Resurrection this Lent.
- Delve Into Your Parish Family
Our parish is our family and needs the gifts we have to offer. Talk to your pastor or read your bulletin to see what volunteer opportunities your parish is offering this Lent. Introduce yourself to someone you have yet to meet: someone who sits alone every Sunday, a mother in the cry room, or a catechumen. Just as Christ was aided by people through simple acts of love during the Way of the Cross, let us help those within our parish family this Lent. We have the opportunity to be Saint Simons and Saint Veronicas to others. We can help people within our parish carry their crosses, and wipe away their tears and pain.
- Go to Confession
Confession is such a beautiful, healing Sacrament. It allows us to be transformed into vessels of grace. When we leave the confessional, the gifts of grace and peace are bestowed upon us. We become more in-tune and open to the Holy Spirit, who desires us to flourish. Lent is a time of reflection and healing and this is the best way to reflect on our lives and let God heal us.
- Return to the Scriptures
Christ prepared for His ministry in His youth. He was constantly surrounded by the Scripture. He was clearly well-versed enough to teach and amaze others when Mary and Joseph found Him in the temple. Familiarizing ourselves with the Scriptures is a great way to prepare our minds, our hearts, and our souls for what God has in store for us. We can do this by committing to reading the Bible each night, trying our best to attend daily Mass, or bringing a Mass journal with us on Sunday to reflect on each Sunday’s readings. There are many Lenten devotionals, and some parishes even supply their own. Reflecting on the Scriptures, and deriving new insights from them, is nourishing to the soul. It is thus because it is the very Word of God, Jesus Himself, that nourishes us. God bless your Lent!
Claire Couche is a wife and mother. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville where she studied history and theology. She later received her B.S.N. and worked as an oncology nurse before becoming a stay-at-home mother. For more writings from Claire and her husband, Michael, visit their website at www.findingphilothea.com.