Rose Folsom gets Lent off to a goofy start, but she knows that the only way to fail is to give up trying!
My Lent got off to a goofy start, as usual. I’ll be in the groove by the second Sunday. The first Sunday, I’m leaving nose prints on the Dunkin’ Donuts door before it opens.
Ash Wednesday is always D with an A for effort. For example, this year, dinner was a deep-fried shrimp platter with cocktail sauce (no meat!) followed by sugar-free toffee for dessert (sugar free!). I’ve learned to expect a slow start to Lenten self-denial. But it’s okay—giving up trying would be the only real loss.
A half-dream last night got my attention as I fell asleep. A passing car’s headlight beam flitted over my closed eyes and I thought, “We have to place ourselves where we can catch the beam of light.” The dreamy conviction was so intense I knew it was from God.
How does that relate to Lent? I think we need to intentionally place ourselves to avoid dodging the beam of light—the voice of God—that is always trying to find us. So often we hear the whisper of God, “Pssst. Hey, it’s Me.” Too often, we answer, “Not now, God—gotta run for groceries before dinner; I’m too tired; I have to write my to-do list for tomorrow; I’ll catch you later for sure. Anyway, I prayed the Rosary this morning—remember?”
Especially during Lent, how can we place ourselves to catch the beam of light we need for spiritual renewal? How can we get back to what’s important when our lives are as busy as ever?
Here are three classic ways to invite God in so we don’t miss the special grace of the season:
- Schedule your time with God. Write it on your calendar. Set your alarm. Whatever it takes. Mother Teresa wrote: “I make a holy hour after Mass so I have two hours with Jesus before the people and sisters start using me up. I let Him use me first.” Don’t have two hours a day? Schedule 15 minutes to meet Him in his Word, Holy Scripture.
- Make a good confession. It’s a great way to get cleaned out so you’re more susceptible to the beam of light, his love. Being forgiven does wonders for our ability to forgive.
- Give alms. Choose the way that suits you best: sharing time or money lightens us up because we shift the focus from ourselves. We become a beam of light to others.
Here’s hoping the first part of your Lent is off to a good start and that you discover your most fruitful way of connecting with God during this holy season.
Copyright 2022 Rose Folsom
Image: Deposit Photos, licensed by author
About the Author
Rose Folsom is founder of VirtueConnection.com, where she helps Catholics get closer to God by discovering how to practice virtues like patience and forgiveness. Join her membership group, Virtue Circle. She’s a convert and Lay Dominican who speaks, blogs, and leads retreats fueled on prayer and York peppermint patties. She and her husband, Fred, live in Silver Spring, Maryland.