Lent : Spiritual Spring Cleaning

2024년 2월 4일

Lent : Spiritual Spring Cleaning

< Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time >

              In years past it was common to ask: “What are you giving up for Lent?” The upcoming 40 days before Easter are a time of holiness and grace when the Church invites us to examine our lives and get rid of anything and everything that keeps us away from God. It is customary to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. This is a very old practice, going back thousands of years. It originated at a time when only the very rich could afford to eat meat. So during Lent and every Friday throughout the year, well-to-Catholics abstained from eating meat and gave the money saved to the poor so they could enjoy meat. The problem was, over time we forgot about the poor even though we abstained. It is now common for Catholics to give up coffee or chocolates or alcohol to remind us that we should control our habits, they shouldn’t control us.

Pope Francis has given us a creative way to do some spiritual spring cleaning during Lent. The Pope says, “Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and have trust in God. Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. Fast from pressures and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.” May this coming Lent fill us with a sense of gratitude as we draw closer to God and to one another.