Another Lenten season will be upon us soon. Although Lent is a season of penance; it is a season of hope more than anything. For as surely as Easter Sunday follows Good Friday, so the hope of Lent gives way to the fulfillment of that hope which is the Resurrection.
It seems to be a law woven into creation that there must be sacrifice before there can be victory. There must be a dying to sin and self before there can be a rebirth in Christ. As we walk the path of Lent we should use this graced time to exercise discipline in the small things of life. There can be no victory in anything: sports, business, military, or life in general, without self-discipline.
Examples of this discipline are many. They can be first and foremost in the area of charity to others, and this begins at home. Perhaps there is someone in your life that rubs you the wrong way, your “hair shirt”. Deny the inclination to bicker and complain. Love the person whether you feel like it or not. Do some small act of kindness for them.
Pray the Rosary every day (or once a week, or 3 times a week, etc.) of Lent, or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. If you love chocolate, exercise discipline and don’t eat it through the days of Lent, offering your sacrifice to Jesus through Mary for the salvation of souls.
Assist at holy Mass herhaps one or more days during the week as a preparation for the great gift of the Paschal mystery which unfolds during Holy Week. Discipline yourself to be more recollected and reverent at the Eucharist, realizing that this is nothing less than the same sacrifice of Calvary offered in a sacramental manner.
The discipline of Lent always opens the door for the bright light of Easter. The pain of Good Friday is at once the joy and triumph of the holy Cross. No passion and death, no Victory. In Jesus we walk through the trials and frequent darkness of this life to the unending joy and light of heaven. It is the Cross that wins that victory we know as Easter.
May this Lent be a time of true hope for you, a time of self-discipline and spiritual battle that leads to great personal triumph in Jesus Christ at Easter. Dying He destroyed our death, rising He restored our life, come, Lord Jesus, come!
With God’s blessing,
Fr. John Corapi, SOLT, STD