Prayer for an unusual Lent
This has been a very unusual Lent. We have been given a reminder that how we sacrifice is not always up to us. In our area, as in most of the country, we are currently urged to distance ourselves from one another in order to prevent the spread of a virus that is unprecedented. We are challenged to find new ways to communicate, new ways to protect ourselves and those we love, and even new ways to pray. Our churches are temporarily closed, sacraments are suspended, and our standard ways of keeping holy the Sabbath are thwarted. One thing that we know for certain: we can be assured that we still have a constant connection with God.
In 1 Peter 5:7-10 we read “Cast all your anxieties on [God], for [God] cares about you. Be sober, be watchful… Resist [the devil], firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.”
Amidst all the prescribed “social distancing” we are still not alone. Jesus’ message to his apostles in Gethsemane was to “watch and pray” as he went off to be alone for a while. Jesus’ message to us is also to watch and pray, particularly as we spend these days in ways we never imagined. We are called to join in the sacrifice that Jesus offered freely, and we can expect that the good that comes from this sacrifice will go well beyond the discomfort that it causes.
Reflect, watch and pray
In the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, we reflect on the surrender of Jesus so that we could share in the greatest love of all. Step by step, we are asked to join in that surrender, giving our anxiety, our bodies, our pride, our will and all of ourselves to that Love. We are all part of a divine plan…we only need say “yes.” As Jesus accepted the cup that was given him to drink, we are asked to drink of a different cup not chosen by us. Jesus’ gift was for us to share deeply in the life given us. Joining in his suffering and surrender allows us to extend that gift to our fellow pilgrims on the journey.
You are invited to offer this Lenten prayer based on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. Through Sacred Scripture, meditation, reflection through the words of our Saint Mother Theodore, intercession and prayerful response, we walk through and share these moments with Jesus. While spending time alone, we are still able to join with our family, our faith community, and all who share in the call to watch and pray…