The beauty of Lent

By Rev. Frederick Zagone, S.J., university chaplain, University Advancement

In the Lenten preface to the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, we hear the words:

For by your gracious gift each year your faithful await the sacred paschal feasts with the joy of minds made pure, so that more eagerly intent on prayer and on the works of charity, and participating in the mysteries by which they have been reborn, they may be led to the fullness of grace that you bestow on your sons and daughters.

These words remind us of the beauty of Lent as a season of preparation – when we are called to ready ourselves for Easter by taking action.

The Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which we will hear about throughout the Lenten season, are meant to help us develop and grow in our relationship with God and with our neighbor – to help us live out the two greatest commandments of all: to love God above all things and to love our neighbor.

We begin Lent begging for “the blessing of forgiveness.” God longs for us to return to Him with our whole heart. God desires us to be reconciled. God invites us to pray, “create in me a clean heart Oh God.”

Lent is a time for us to reflect on the importance of having an intimate relationship with our Lord, about engaging in and exercising discipleship from the heart, motivated out of a sincere love for God.

Lent is a time to make changes in our lives, to grow in our faith, to grow closer to our God.

Lent is a time in which we can reflect upon where we are, who we are and where this Lenten journey can take us. The Father who is hidden will see us. And the Father who is hidden will be revealed to us.