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The annual exercise of Lent

Sister Beth Wright receives ashes on the first day of Lent from Father Dan Hopcus.

Good old Lent!

Here you are again — staring me in the face … daring me to find something good about the experience — in spite of my many years of getting to Easter and thinking, “Well, another Lent when I didn’t do what I said I would.”

Lent, for me, is the Catholic equivalent of New Year’s resolutions — sincerely made and soon broken.

Lent, for me, is like a regimen of physical exercise — easily embraced for all the right reasons and never relished. (Any old reason is a good reason to avoid the treadmill and head for the cookies.)

Lent, for me, is an annual exercise of careful and prayerful preparation and daily recommitment as I examine just how I did or — more often — how I didn’t manage to carry through on my intentions.

So, once again, I am thinking about and engaging prayer, almsgiving and fasting; I’m considering what I can do rather than what I can give up.

I’m even asking God in God’s good providence to open me to the stream of grace, of life, of love that is the ground and essence of my being; to open me to being the person Providence calls me to be and to give me all I need to be a friend of God.

Once again, I’ll ask for a change of heart and mind during those forty days. — and try to mean it … in spite of my bad attitude.

So, dear Lent, my friend and foe, here’s to forty days of wrestling with each other. Open me to God’s love outpoured, overflowing every day. Make of me an instrument of that love, a providence to others.

Let us pray with one another, dear friends. We know we are called to be an Easter people; may it be so! The prayer of the Sisters of Providence is with you during Lent! Please pray for us!

Sister Denise Wilkinson, SP
General Superior

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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