Welcome back to The Practical Catholic. It’s time for a Lenten reflection blog post.
After his Baptism Jesus was driven out into the wilderness, to be tempted. He was there for 40 days.
As I near the end of my journey from Evangelical to Catholic, and near my dawn as a fully fledged Jesus-eating, bible-reading, spirituall mature, confession-saying Roman Catholic, I wanted to celebrate Lent properly. In talking with Kassie, the Secret Vatican Spy, I was inspired to take a rounded approach that focused on the pursuit of virtue.
I want to spend the 40 days of Lent focusing on the way of Jesus, the one anointed to deliver us from Sin.
The God that Jesus hearkened us to hear is a loving God, but His love desires that we should be everything He intends for Creation. Namely, God desires that we would become Christ.
Jesus is what God’s picture of our redemption looks like. From the dawn of time until now, we have seen a fallen world, a world in bondage. However, the Christ, given to us, is how God calls us to live.
That we as a culture take on the task of “giving up” sometimes tangential things, or do not use Lent as a time of offering ourselves in pursuit of virtue is sad. We have so much more to offer God, and in turn-ourselves, when we make Lent about seeking righteousness.
Lent is not a time for navel-gazing self-hatred. It’s not a time to give up things just for the fun of it. It is a time to call to mind our sins. But it is also a time to call to mind our ability to enjoin ourselves to Christ. This season, make it about Jesus, and following in the master’s footsteps.
I’d encourage all of you as I am encouraging myself, to take up the task of looking at the temptation narrative and asking the question: Where am I tempted? In what ways can I help myself avoid temptation and be delivered from evil?
That’s what’s at the heart of Lent, not just a shallow repentance that places some odds and ends along with a prison shank at the altar. Lent is about walking with Jesus, and that makes all the difference. Whether I do decide to give up brussels sprouts or not, what matters is walking with Jesus on the road less traveled.