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Rachel Bulman explains why our stripping away of the temporary trappings of the world during Lent allows for a greater longing for Christ. 

The first time I experienced Lent in the Catholic Church was in 2008, and it was a suffering that I am forever thankful for. I wasn’t Catholic yet, but I was adamant about going to as many of the Lenten liturgies and devotions that my local parish had to offer. I fasted, prayed, and offered alms and when I came into communion with the Church at Easter Vigil, I could barely choke out an "amen" when the priest offered me the Body and Blood of Christ on that fateful night.   

What had happened? Why was my heart so overwhelmed that words escaped me and tears streamed down my face?  

I had developed a longing for the eternal that I knew could only be met through one thing—the Eucharist—and I pray that this season returns me to that same longing.   

The world offers temporary satiation in many forms. We find it in success, in pleasure, in glory, and in honor. And, we even find it in the seemingly bad things too—in our failures, in our pain, in our sadness, and in our sins. So much so that we allow those things to define who we are. We become our jobs, our ministries, our successes, our failures, our frailties, our pain, and our sins. But what does this season invite us to? To let it all go because even the good of this world requires a sort of detachment so that the rightly ordered doesn’t become disordered. Namely, if we were created to worship, then worship is our posture. It never changes, but sometimes we are tempted to worship something other than God. 




What has taken the place of God within your worship? Where has your spirit found temporary rest in exchange for the eternal? How have you allowed the light of Christ to dim? The temptation to worship something other than God can be gradual or sudden but it often happens because the feeling has faded, or the effort required to maintain the light seems greater than what you can offer. It’s the point where your will meets your desire. If we desire holiness, we must decide to choose God even when it’s not easy, when we don’t feel like it, and when we can’t see through the darkness to find Him.   

Lent offers us a time to strip away at all of the temporary trappings of this world until the eternal is revealed. We must give something up in order to make room for something more. Whatever that is—whether it be desserts and sodas or hot showers and coffee—make sure that you are giving it up to make room for God. When you’re longing for the temporal begins to take over, replace it with a longing for the eternal. As you think, “Man, I really miss coffee,” let your next thought be, “All for Christ.” 


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If we desire holiness, we must decide to choose God even when it’s not easy, when we don’t feel like it, and when we can’t see through the darkness to find Him. #CatholicMom


And when this season begins to draw to a close and we approach Holy Week, I pray that we find ourselves approaching the cross and the Paschal Mystery with a renewed vigor and a greater understanding of who Christ is and who He says we are. May we return to that same longing, ever greater and ever new, that all that we desire is found on the altar. May we become what we behold and be consumed by what we consume.  



Copyright 2024 Rachel Bulman
Images: Canva