Last Wednesday began the Lent season. As a child, it was a day of quiet reflection with a smudge of ashes on our foreheads. It was also the day when we discussed at dinner what each of us would give up. Chocolate. Cookies. Dessert. Soda. Those are the types of sacrifices we made during lent. It was also the time when Fridays were either fish or some sort of meatless dinner, pizza mainly. Other than that, it was a waiting game until Easter. Our childhood Easters were the usual American Catholic celebrations. The morning started out with an egg hunt and the search for large baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, egg, and marshmallow peeps. Then we’d eat breakfast, get dressed in pastel dresses, put on our hand-crocheted ponchos and off to church. Our family holiday dinners were filled with activity. It made for wonderful childhood memories.
Now as a 45-year-old, Lent is very different. Maybe it’s because I’m closer to God now than I have ever been. I understand the true meaning of sacrifice. The true meaning of preparation. The true meaning of reflection. And not just any reflection but a specific reflection on my sins. Lent is a time to ask God to search my soul for any darkness or anything that displeases Him. It’s a time to take a hard look at where I need His intervention and ask for His forgiveness and help.
As you get to know us here at 2 Scripture Sisters, you will find a recurring theme of being still and seeking quiet. This year’s Lenten message from Pope Francis asks us to turn off the devices and open our bibles. This is a brilliant message and a wise one too. We are all too connected to the media world, including our own social media. These distractions often keep us from hearing God’s word. So as Pope Francis encourages the world, I encourage you. Disconnect. Discern. Dive deep into the desert with Jesus through the word. God is waiting for you.
If you are on a journey of walking with Christ, what does Lent look like for you now?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139 23-24
Final thought: I encourage you to read the full Lenten message from Pope Francis. I was moved by his wisdom and how he understands the struggle of living in a relentlessly connected world.