“The journey of faith is a very personal adventure, but it cannot be made alone. The reason for this is not difficult to discover. For this journey is no longer a journey through geographical territory such as the wilderness of Sinai. It is a spiritual journey of growth and conversion: it is leaving selfish behavior and moving toward unselfish love and service.” (Fr. Demetrius Dumm, O.S.B. in his book “Flowers in the Desert”.)
The simple mandate given us for our journey of Lent is “Repent and believe in the Gospel. This mandate calls us to acknowledge our sins, turn from them with the help of God’s grace and then to live out the imperatives of the Gospel to love God and to love our neighbor. First we turn from sin and towards God, then we reach out in forgiveness and service of our neighbor.
Lent is not so much about giving up something for a short time, but rather, to make wholesale changes in the way we live and relate to others. This is what conversion really means. Through the disciplines of Lent , prayer, fasting and almsgiving we are enabled to make the journey to conversion with clear guidelines in hand. Spiritual growth leads to conversion, conversion leads to repentance, repentance leads to the freedom to serve God and neighbor without hesitation.
Jesus is the model for selfless love. It is this model that we strive to imitate. We are called to empty ourselves, as Jesus did , so that we can respond to the will of the Father in all of our relationships. We are not alone in this endeavor, for God gives us each other as companions on this journey.
Together may we travel the Journey of Lent, so that we may, together, come to our destination, the Resurrection and newness of life.
Fr. Peter Pagones, Pastor