Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum

Log in
updated 3:58 PM UTC, Jun 28, 2022

Lent and ASH WEDNESDAY

Lent can have a different meaning for each of us. Our experiences, our formation, our needs and what God stirs in our hearts, make us live with a different sensitivity this journey that we as an ecclesial community begin today.

The liturgy invites us to focus our gaze on ourselves, to look inward and to see how we are living our relationships, with ourselves, with God and with others. Francis of Assisi, lived this Lent with particular devotion. He recognised the need to spend time alone with God, to see how he was living, to see how he was following God's call and how he was serving those most in need of mercy and compassion.

The Lenten journey has a concrete goal, Easter. As Blessed Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, a Puerto Rican, used to say: "We live for that Night". Our life is oriented towards Easter, towards the encounter with the Risen Christ. Our prayer, our efforts, our charity make sense if our horizon is clear: to reach Easter, to meet the living God.

Today's liturgy speaks to us of three concrete actions: giving alms, praying and fasting. This leads me to think about the need to improve my relationships with myself, with God and with my neighbour. In this way, this Lent can be an invitation to return to the path of personal conversion. Fasting should lead us to make an effort to let go of everything that prevents me from moving forward in my process of human and spiritual growth.

Lent is also a time of attentive prayer. The Lord tells the prophet Joel: "Turn to me with all your heart" (Joel 2:12). We all have our times of personal prayer with God, our favourite places and times to be alone with God. We cannot let the distractions of the mind, of our work, etc., weaken this important relationship with our Lord.

Lent is also a journey towards the other. Especially today, in this time of suffering, pandemics and wars, it is indispensable to share our alms. But it is not a matter of giving the money we have left over, but of giving of our time, of offering a glance, a greeting, a word to those who are close to us, to those who suffer in solitude, to my neighbour.

Pope Francis tells us today that we cannot tire, that we must continue on our way, loving and loving, receiving from God and sharing with others. "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest, if we do not lose heart" (Gal. 6:9).

José Ángel Torres, OFMCap

(Vicar General)