This is about the moment during some Lents where I have been known to panic. Where has the liturgical season gone? If you are in that boat this year, as you read this, be still and make this final week rich, walking with Christ with a new dedication.
One place to start: If you have not already, meditate on the Pope Benedict’s Lenten message, which focuses on Heb 10:24): “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.” His reflection is here.
And, in case it helps get you going, I offer here two meditations (exclusive to K-Lo at Large!). One from a lay woman and another from a Sister of Life, both bright lights of the New Evangelization.
First, from Sr. Talitha Guadalupe:
“The other is part of me, and his or her life, his or her salvation concern my own life and salvation” (Pope Benedict XVI).
The other is part of me; we are intimately connected as members of the same body. My life has a direct bearing upon theirs. Hence, I cannot live in isolation, thinking my life is my own. Nor can I callously pass by the other for our salvation is entwined. If we truly believe in an eternity determined by how we live here and now; if we believe that our life has a profound purpose, that good exists alongside of evil, that our choices actually matter; and if we furthermore believe that this eternity is a communion, then from our hearts will arise a love which concerns itself for the true good of the other. This good embraces not only the works of practical charity but also the more difficult demands of fraternal correction and calling the other forth into holiness. If we allow ourselves to stand in awe before the surpassing brilliance of each human being, we will willingly pour forth our lives in helping one another “achieve faith’s goal, our salvation” (1 Pt. 1:8).
And from Alexis Walkenstein, who is in communications:
Our Holy Father has provided for us a message this Lent which is something so simple and yet so profound. How many of us treat Lent as some big alone time? I sure do. Lent — a time to put a glaring spotlight on some stubborn sin that I’d like to eliminate — alone. Lent — a time to get some good alone time with God — yep, all by myself with God. Lent — a period of waiting for God to act, purify, change me… and get that done, alone. Let me see the change – but let’s just keep that between Heaven…and me. Pope Benedict XVI begins his 2012 Lenten message by reminding us, yes, us that “Lent is a favorable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments.” … Ah, there it is…”both as individuals and as a community.” In fact, the glue of B16’s Lenten message is this scripture, “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). This Lent, Our Holy Father has encouraged us to truly be brother and sister to each other in our struggles and triumphs. The Holy Father says, “The great commandment of love for one another demands that we acknowledge our responsibility towards those who, like ourselves, are creatures and children of God.” This Lent, Holy Trinity, show us how to live in a community of love. This Lent, Holy Trinity, leave your indelible imprint of limitless love on our hearts to enkindle and capture the broken, the lost, the suffering, the weak, the addicted, the stubborn, and the resistant to the Crucified Jesus. This love, this God, this one who died for us – we seek Him during Lent. Have we told anyone about this sacrificial Love? Have we shared this life in Christ with another? Have we told anyone of the change He’s created in us? Or do we shrink back? Do we correct someone we love and show them a better, “more excellent way?” Holy Trinity, this Lent, let us not seek You only for ourselves, but let us share that Love which we have received with our brother, our sister, our enemy that all might come to the great Freedom that is to know, love and serve You.
These final days of Lent, 2012: Do not try to go them alone.