Friday after Ash Wednesday
I am old enough now to realize that Lent is a time of the year when I need to focus on where there might be a need to bring about a change of heart in my life. Like everyone who can admit "I am a sinner," I know there is a part of me that resists making the sacrifices to change my ways. As I pray during these opening days of Lent, I know that I need to refocus some aspects of my life. And, I suspect, my life is not too different from the life of others: aren't the areas I need to address the same each year. Are not the sins I bring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, repeats, time after time? Do not human beings repeat different kinds of exercises in their lives to overcome specific weaknesses that crop up over and over again?
When I am worrisome, isn't the cause usually that my heart and my values have fallen away from life in Your kingdom here on this earth? But am I not a true human being because I look for external causes rather than looking within my own heart. "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn." During these days of Lent, Father, help me to focus my prayer and attention on what is the one thing that weakens my relationship with you. I remember the words of you Son to Martha, recorded in St. Luke's gospel, Chapter 10, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; only one thing is necessary." (verses 41-42).
Only one thing is necessary in my life as well: making sure that I bring about the life of God's Spirit in my heart. This is what Jesus is calling me to consider today: only one thing is necessary. I will try today to make clear in my heart what You are calling me to change in my life's ways.
Oremus pro invicem!
From the Hermitage,