Lenten Psalm of Awakening
“Come, O Life-giving Creator, and rattle the door latch of my slumbering heart. Awaken in these fortified days of Lenten prayer and discipline my youthful dream of holiness. Show to me during these Lenten days how to take the daily things of life and by submerging them in the sacred to infuse them with a great love for you, O God, and for others.”
— Prayers For a Planetary Pilgrim, Edward Hayes
As the Lenten Season approaches, we are introduced to the three pillars of Lent in the Gospel of Matthew.
“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your (God) who sees in secret will reward your.”
— Matthew 6:3-4
Almsgiving does not always mean monetary giving. Another way of practicing almsgiving is performing loving actions to family and friends many times a day. Strangers not known personally but who need thoughts of love and mindfulness are waiting as they suffer at the border.
“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your (God) who is in secret and your (God) who sees in secret will reward you.”
— Matthew 6: 6, 9-15
Pray the Lord’s Prayer slowly and intentionally.
Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer may lead to praying more deeply for personal needs, needs of family and for protection of migrants and asylum seekers.
- How do I honor God as creator of all things? How do I honor God in my thoughts, my words, and my actions?
- How does my life reflect God’s Reign of love, justice and mercy? Am I putting too much emphasis on material things?
- Can I trust God to provide for my daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs?
- When I have sinned, do I admit my wrong, ask God’s forgiveness, and start anew?
- When people have wronged me, am I able to forgive them as God forgives me?
“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your (God) who is in secret; and your (God) who sees in secret will reward you.”
— Matthew 6:17-18
Fasting from an overly busy pace of activities allows one time to rest in the presence of our Redeemer and time to fortify self so as to nourish our neighbor.
Matthew 6:16 reminds us: “When you fast, do not be somber.” We are united with each other in almsgiving, prayer and fasting.
Being joyful during Lent is expressed in our belief in triumph over evil, love over death.