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lent: giving ourselves to the journey

February 25, 2009

How many times a day are we bombarded with the narcissism that plagues our world? There are constant reminders of keeping one’s self-esteem at a healthy level, messages of empowerment, and an overall entitlement mentality. We are often told how great we are and that we are all special. If you don’t believe the message, there is a plethora of self-help books to convince you.

It is in this age of indulgence the Catholic Church offers us a yearly opportunity to grow in humility and self-control. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of our insignificance: Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.  We deny ourselves through the practices of fasting and giving up certain luxuries, and by doing so learn to reject our pride.  It is only when we are brought low that we can see past ourselves and gaze upon the immense beauty of God.  And seeing God in all His glory frees us to accept our worth and dignity as a Son or Daughter of God. We learn to put our confidence in the Lord instead of ourselves.

Our journey through Lent should be slow and steady, every moment lived to the full, every trial embraced.  In so doing, our journey will be honest and humble.  And the more we give ourselves to the journey, the greater the celebration will be at Easter.

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