Social media strikes again. Do something Old Fashioned this Friday it says. Hashtag #OFF – Old Fashioned Friday. The video suggests getting into a boat and rowing around in it. What’s more old fashioned than a boat the video asks. This short video put together by the makes of the DODOcase – an iPad case maker pointedly asks: “What will you rediscover?”
That got me thinking about this holy Season that we’re embarking on.
Each Lent we are called to enter into this holy season with an open heart, embarking on a journey that will hopefully end with us becoming saints. Lent isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. It’s not supposed to be. Nothing that changes us is easy. And that’s what Lent is all about isn’t it. That’s why we fast. Right? To make us reflect on our lives and to challenge us to grow deeper in love with the Lord Jesus. Fasting helps us to become more attune to the other. Back in 2009 in his message for Lent, Pope Benedict said the following:
Someone said on Facebook this morning: “we don’t fast so that God will hear us, rather we fast so that we will be able to hear God”. A seminarian texted me on Ash Wednesday and said that It seems like it’s only on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during lent that we crave a porterhouse steak. That’s the human condition – we crave what we can’t have. Take those cravings as reminders to pray. Take those moments of desire and use them to know yourself a little better. Become more human this Lent. Become a Saint. Be what you and I are meant to be. Make of your life a gift to God.
It is good to see how the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us to make a complete gift of self to God. May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor. I am thinking especially of a greater commitment to prayer, lectio divina, recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and active participation in the Eucharist, especially the Holy Sunday Mass.
What can possibly be more old fashioned that that? Fasting. What is it that we’ll rediscover? Maybe a little bit more of ourselves and of the Lord.
**Check back each week this Lent for a new post. “A new priest’s first Lent”. Hopefully we will all come out the other end of this season closer to the Lord Jesus. Next week I’ll be writing a little bit about the popular custom of making the stations of the Cross during Lent. I’ll be leading the stations this evening at 7:30. I’ll be hold each of you in my prayers.