Welcome to the February check-in for our “Your Yes for 2015” Adventure. If you’re joining us today for the first time, find the index of all of the days here.
Yes, I know, today is February 17th. That means I’m officially two days late for our promised check-in and reminder to prayerfully assess “Your Yes in 2015”.
Am I allowed to say that the delay was intentional, a part of my personal “Yes” goals for this year?
Or would that sound like justification?
Guess what. I’ll let you decide. I’ll simply share here that in opting to write to you today (instead of two days ago), I made a bit of additional progress towards a few of the “Yes, God” intentions I am endeavoring to live out this year. I’ve heard from a few of you by email with check ins of your own, so I’m glad to know that now, several weeks beyond the excitement of New Year’s, we’re still engaged in this process of giving God the very best of ourselves in 2015.
For those of you who are new to this, you can catch up with us here.
As you know, tomorrow we begin the season of Lent. In prayerfully reflecting upon my own Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving, I re-read what I wrote on January 19th (Discern, Decide, Do...). It would seem that Lent has come along at the perfect time for those of us who may feel that we have in some way fallen short or lost our way.
Our Lenten practices should serve as a means of growing ever closer to God. If the February blues have us feeling that in some way we’ve lost that connection we so deeply desired back on January 1, then the weeks between now and Easter are a beautiful time to redouble our focus on making our prayer part of that “Yes” we so deeply want to give God. This is a time also to remember that the goal of this season should be to be one with God and with the world around us. So our chosen fasts are not simply empty practices, but a way to more generously give of ourselves materially, relationally and spiritually.
But beware: this type of introspection does not come without hazards.
The older I get, the more I’m convinced that the “dark side” does not want our “Yes to God”. For this reason, at this time of the year I typically have St. Michael the Archangel on “speed dial”:
The “wickedness and snares of the Devil” come in many forms, shapes and sizes.
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
For some of us, Satan plays on our egos. I recognized Satan’s work at hand in my own life today when an email, simply intended to provide healthy feedback, sent me into a tailspin of doubt and despair moments before an important presentation. The forces of darkness wanted me good and distracted. And my giving into a few moments of self-pity nearly cost me an important opportunity to do a great deal of good. Thankfully, I’m training myself mentally and spiritually to spot “you know who” at work and to kick him to the curb. But it takes prayerful effort, each and every time. And it’s never easy.
If this message finds you today experiencing not the revelry of Mardi Gras but instead the nagging doubt of remorse, lost opportunities or even sin, take heart. This year’s Lent is the perfect opportunity to become God’s new creation. During the weeks ahead, I invite you to “discern, decide and do” your Lenten devotions with a heart full of love and an eye always on the cross. I urge you to make time for silence, for adoration and for reconciliation. I challenge you to unite your fasts with generous giving. Pope Francis gave us beautiful wisdom in his tweet this morning:
During Lent, let us find concrete ways to overcome our indifference.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 17, 2015
During Lent, let us find concrete ways to overcome our indifference. This Lent, let our “Yes” be well-discerned, destined to draw us closer to Christ and to one another. May our “Yes” be a concrete path towards generosity of spirit, an overcoming of sin, and a way to make a difference in a world so greatly in need. Sign up to receive email reminders on the 15th of each month: