We are together with all of creation, exhorted to go forth “from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). According to Pope Francis, Lent is a time and season which embodies this sacramental sign of conversion. Lent is also a time for us to live more profoundly and truly, the Paschal Mystery. There are three essentials which we will need in our arsenal to help us better embrace the Graces of Lent: Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving.
Fasting prepares our bodies to attain to a better disposition to be filled with the Graces of the Lord. Intrinsic in the self-denial, is a training of our bodies of flesh to renounce the gluttony which causes us to try and fill ourselves incessantly with the things that do not satisfy.
Prayer is the constant lifeline that we have to the Lord. It charges us up and connects us directly to the source of our help. It is also a means to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Lord God, to renounce any false gods in our lives, and to leave behind any idolatry and pompous notions of self-sufficiency which obstruct us from drawing closer to God.
Almsgiving, takes us away from the selfish insanity of hoarding for oneself. In charity, we reach out to our neighbour who is equally loved by God. In almsgiving, we tap into God who is love, and we become channels of His Providence to those around us. In doing so, we also re-discover God’s immeasurable love for us.
(Source: Pope Francis 2018’s Lenten Message)
By Brian Bartholomew Tan