Reflections of God's Goodness
February can conjure up images of lace hearts, winter storms, and ash crosses on our foreheads. In the mid-winter celebration of Lent, we resolve to change our hearts, hoping for new life to push up from the deep soil of our efforts in prayer, penance, and almsgiving.
A familiar Lenten hymn, “…this time, change our hearts…”, reminds us that we have been here before. We all want a closer relationship with God. In fact, we thirst for God in ways we don’t even understand. It’s the way God made us! I take solace in the words of Isaiah, “All you who are thirsty, come to the water!” (Is. 55:1)
God wants to give us ‘Living Water.' Jesus says,
…but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Like the woman at the well, we are not sure what He means, but the idea of quenching that thirst for God, for truth, for goodness, — we want that.
This Lent, God is inviting us to nurture the desire for communication with Him. Traditionally, Lent is a cycle of giving up something or denying self, and certainly those are good practices. But there is more.
We can be intentional about communication with God. In the best of all worlds, we could set aside the first hour of our day to come before the God who made us, to express gratitude, to ponder His word, to sit in the quiet, to listen for the much needed response.
If your life allows it, then this is a good time to begin. However, there are other ways to be intentional about our connection and communication with God. What if at every red light we took a few seconds to acknowledge God’s presence and action in our life. How about the waiting we do…we can use waiting time to turn our heart’s gaze heavenward, once again acknowledging God’s presence.
The trouble with Lent, with New Year’s resolutions, with good intentions, is that we often fail because of our human tendency to forget, to fall back into habit. That is why we need a trigger — something that will remind you to find a special time in your day (early in the morning, late at night, alone in the car while you wait for soccer practice to end) to meet God in a special way during this Lenten season.
Your reminder could be the red light, or you could hang a purple ribbon in your car, or even make yourself a little sign “Come to the Water” and post it in a variety of places. On the dash of the car, as the wallpaper on your phone! Find a place that you know your eyes will see several times a day. By the end of Lent, you will have the habit of connecting to God throughout the day.
May your Lenten practices lead you to Easter Joy, one day at a time.
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
Director of Development
With joy you will draw water
from the fountains of salvation.