Lent – A Time To Turn, Turn, Turn

Ash Wednesday BlogSeldom do we travel in a straight line. It is rare that a journey follows a single road or highway.

The challenge and stress of traveling come when we have to leave one road for another. We ask for directions. We study maps. Where do we turn? What exits do we take?

Our lives are filled with turns. Some turns take us to exciting new places. Learning to read, for example, opens up to us the world of literature. Some turns are more difficult and traumatic. The death of a spouse means journeying on alone. Other turns lead us down unknown roads and destinations. Falling in love, we all know, can turn our world upside down.  So can beginning a new job or moving into a new home.

Lent is the season for turning. The earth completes its spring turning toward the sun. We will soon begin the turning of the ground for spring planting – if only the snow would stop falling and the temperature rise. The Lenten springtime is also a turning of our souls and spirits. Lent calls us to conversion – from the Latin word for turning. To turn from whatever unjustly and unfairly steals our time and energy and re-turn to the loving embrace of family and friends. To turn away from those idols of wealth and prestige that take the place of the Holy One in our lives and re-turn to the things of God we hold in the depths of our hearts. Lent calls us to the hard but never complete work of turning toward the life and things of God.

Over the next forty days take time each day to turn more intentionally toward the face of Jesus Christ. Do it in your prayer, your fasting, and your works of charity. After all, these are the traditional practices of Lent. Then you will discover some very specific things in your life that you need to turn from in order to experience the power of His presence in your life.

Lord God, be with us on this Lenten journey. May our journey with you from the wilderness to the mount of transfiguration, from Jerusalem to Calvary, be an experience of turning for us. A turning from despair to hope. A turning from barrenness to fullness. A turning from death to life!

A couple of reminders . . .

If you live near Saint John Bosco in Parma Heights – today Mass and the distribution of Ashes will be celebrated in the morning at 7:30 am, at 12:00 noon, and in the evening at 7:00 pm. Know that you are welcome to join us!

Ash Wednesday is a day of abstinence from meat (and any meat based food) and a day of fasting. All of the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat (and any meat based food). The law of abstinence binds all Catholics 14 years and older. The law of fast allows a person to eat one full meal.  Two smaller meals may be eaten, but they should not equal one full meal. The law of fasting binds all Catholics from their 18th birthday until their 59th birthday.

Question – As you spend time in prayer and reflection today, what have you identified in your life that you need to turn from in order to turn more fully toward the face of Christ? Now – how are you going to do that over the next forty days?

March 5th, 2014 |