This Lent, I have taken stock of my spiritual life and found it wanting. On the outside, it has looked robust. Daily Rosary, daily Mass a few times a week, Catechism in a Year podcast, spiritual fellowship groups. But inside, I have felt uninspired. What has been missing?
My solution was to focus on completing the 3-fold call of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I’ll add in a Divine Mercy chaplet, give up social media, and donate some canned goods for the food drive, I thought. That should do it. Check, check, check.
And there it was. The problem. While I went through my checklist, I kept hearing Jesus whisper an invitation to me, “come sit with me”. It had been a while since I went to adoration, so I responded to God’s call.
As I sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament, “wasting time with Jesus”, as Fr. John Riccardo would say, it felt so obvious what was missing. A relationship with Jesus. I had been checking off boxes and being productive, but I wasn’t listening to God. I wasn’t spending quality time with Him, which is where true transformation happens.
Lent is an opportunity to advance our Earthly mission, which is to “know, love, and serve God” (CCC 1721) in preparation for the eternal life for which Jesus Christ suffered. I can only love God if I really know Him. I can only know Him if I open my heart to Him and truly give Him my time and attention. And when I know and love God, I will naturally seek to share that love with others in service. Fulfilling my mission, then, consists of just one to-do item: Go to Him.
As a “type A” person, I had fallen into the trap of believing I could achieve spiritual growth myself if I just set up a strategic plan and then knocked out the tasks. But God calls us to be humble of heart and to recognize that we can do nothing by our own efforts. Let us ask God for the Grace to allow Him to draw us closer to Himself and so be transformed this Lent.