With the arrival of Lent this Wednesday, February 10th, Ash Wednesday, it would seem that associates desiring to prepare to meet with joy the coming Paschal Feast would want to do so using the forty days of the penitential season as a period of devotion in PRAYER, seriousness in FASTING, and generosity in ALMS GIVING (works of charity). This should come as no surprise to those who live each day with a “rule of life” as a foundation for their spiritual growth and maturity. Lent comes as a season for repentance; a time given to each of us to see more clearly what sin, yours and mine, does to the soul and thus an aid in preparing for one’s Easter confession.
With so much depressing news to hear, often more than we wish to hear; and spiritual lives so often emptied of meaning and purpose, we can’t help but be distressed, and in need of Lent’s discipline. I could not help but to focus on the aged Simeon in meditating at Mass this past week as we celebrated Candlemass, the feast of Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple and Our Lady’s Purification. Simeon must have been very discouraged, downcast and depressed in living with the occupation of his country by the foreign Roman legions, and the limitations place on worshipping the Living God in His Temple. He waited long and patiently for the promised Messiah, when suddenly and quite unexpectedly, God delivered on His promise and brought Salvation and a new covenant to the Temple of his day.
There is always joy in knowing of the new “light to lighten” us which lies just ahead and, often, when we least expect it. May Lent be for you a time to renew your search for the Lord and in seeking Him with Holy zeal coming to that joy in knowing it was the Lord who first found you. Holy Simeon, pray for us that we might behold the glory of the Lord, that our eyes may see His salvation.
Blessings for a Holy Lent!