Lent is the Road to the Resurrection
During the liturgical year we are in the season of Lent. Lent is a special time of God’s grace and conversion. During this time we, as monks, have the opportunity to meditate on our lives and discover those areas that require more attention on our part.
Lent is a time to clean our own house. We should especially pay attention to our manner of speaking, our character, the way we treat others, etc. This is a time to honestly recognize that we have much to change in our lives.
What can I do to make sure that this Lent is not just one more Lent in my life ? First of all, I need to be conscious of the reality of sin in my life. I need to honestly recognize myself as a sinner in relationship to God; and that on many occasions I have not done the will of God in my life, but my own will.
This season of Lent can serve to help us see where we are in life, and can help us to take up again those often forgotten elements of our monastic lives that are of great importance for our conversion: spiritual direction, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the practice of obedience… These and other tools our father St. Benedict reminds us of in Chapter 49 of his Rule. “During these days of Lent, therefore, we will add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer and abstinence from food and drink, so that each of us will have something above the assigned measure to offer God of his own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit. In other words, let each one deny himself some food, drink, sleep, needless talking and idle jestering, and look forward to holy Easter with joy and spiritual longing.” (Chapter 49, 5-7)
May our personal problems, or those of our family or country, not be obstacles to our drawing closer to God. The season of Lent can help us to live our lives in closer friendship with the God of Jesus Christ in all areas of our lives, especially in those areas that we have closed off to God.
Lent is a time to once again draw near to God, through a life of payer, fasting and almsgiving. We must pray to God without ceasing. We must fast from bad thoughts, from bad words, from destructive criticism and from all that can separate us from one another and from God.
May this Lent help us to be freed a little more from the domination of sin, so that together we can celebrate the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and over death.
God bless you,
Prior Orlando Pérez Gómez, O.S.B.