Sunday, March 17, 2019
Mar 14, 2019
As Lent unfolds, how are you doing with Making Visible God’s Works?
Some thoughts about Lent, sin and Satan. Part of our formation as Catholics is training to examine our consciences in light of personal sin—how many times we lied or cheated, gossiped or fell to sexual sins. Avoiding personal sin shapes our character, and may help us grow into faithful, honest, loving people. Our attention isn’t always drawn to the social sins that plague our world, usually with our giving in to them or need to avoid them. Sins that have contributed the crisis of climate change and environmental devastation, the still existing scandal of human slavery and exploitation, the tolerance that allows poverty and oppression to coexist with opulent wealth. Do the blinders of life keep us from seeing the suffering of migrants, victims of war, children not yet born and those brought into a world of poverty and hopelessness?
Honestly it can be overwhelming, but Pope Francis calls us to examine our lives in light of our giving in to some of social norms around that exist in today’s world. “...when we fail to live as children of God, we often behave in a destructive way towards our neighbors and other creatures – and ourselves as well – since we begin to think more or less consciously that we can use them as we will. Intemperance then takes the upper hand: we start to live a life that exceeds those limits imposed by our human condition and nature itself. Sin leads humankind to consider themselves the god of creation, to see themselves as its absolute master and to use it, not for the purpose willed by the Creator but for his own interests, to the detriment of other creatures.”
Lent invites Christians to live in the paschal mystery more deeply and concretely in their personal, family and social lives, above all by fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
Our Holy Father continues: “Fasting, that is, learning to change our attitude towards others and all of creation, turning away from the temptation to “devour” everything to satisfy our voracity and being ready to suffer for love, which can fill the emptiness of our hearts. Prayer, which teaches us to abandon idolatry and the self-sufficiency of our ego, and to acknowledge our need of the Lord and his mercy. Almsgiving, whereby we escape from the insanity of hoarding everything for ourselves in the illusory belief that we can secure a future that does not belong to us. And thus to rediscover the joy of God’s plan for creation and for each of us, which is to love him, our brothers and sisters, and the entire world, and to find in this love our true happiness.”
I hope you find these thoughts about Lent, sin and Satan are helpful as you continue your Lenten journey.
Have a great and blessed Lent!
In peace and courage,