14 hours ago
Giving Up Darkness: Day 4 Lent 2013
One of our main focuses during Lent is what we give up! We usually give up things that are temptations to us. In choosing what we are actually giving up for Lent, we should ask ourselves: "How will giving up ___ bring me closer to God?" We should really fast in private, but sometimes, going public holds us accountable! Personally, I think somethings are okay for public purpose if it serves God. Other things we battle should be private.
Lent for me (in the past) has gone either 1 of 3 ways: (1) start off strong, then tinker off towards about week 4-6. (2) start off weak and fail, then get motivated to start back up about mid way. (3) do nothing at all.
I think my worst times in life were those Lenten seasons that I choose to do nothing. I am having a hard time this Lent, but I am getting back on track. I think trying is better than ignoring. Sometimes the devil tries to block our priorities. This Lent, it seems he is doing a good job of that- BUT HE ISN'T GOING TO WIN.
Ask yourself- "Is what I am doing, bringing me closer or farther away from God" That very statement is pretty powerful! What we see in the light doesn't look nearly as "good" to us as it does in the dark, but we need the light to move closer- we need a bit of uncomfortableness to be "fixed."
“The Christian soul knows it needs Divine Help and therefore turns to Him Who loved us even while we were yet sinners. Examination of conscience, instead of inducing morbidity, thereby becomes an occasion of joy. There are two ways of knowing how good and loving God is. One is by never losing Him, through the preservation of innocence, and the other is by finding Him after one has lost Him. Repentance is not self-regarding, but God-regarding. It is not self-loathing, but God-loving. Christianity bids us accept ourselves as we really are, with all our faults and our failings and our sins. In all other religions, one has to be good to come to God—in Christianity one does not. Christianity might be described as a “come as you are” party. It bids us stop worrying about ourselves, stop concentrating on our faults and our failings, and thrust them upon the Saviour with a firm resolve of amendment. The examination of conscience never induces despair, always hope…Because examination of conscience is done in the light of God’s love, it begins with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to illumine our minds. A soul then acts toward the Spirit of God as toward a watchmaker who will fix our watch. We put a watch in his hands because we know he will not force it, and we put our souls in God’s hands because we know that if he inspects them regularly they will work as they should…it is true that, the closer we get to God, the more we see our defects. A painting reveals few defects under candlelight, but the sunlight may reveal it as daub. The very good never believe themselves very good, because they are judging themselves by the Ideal. In perfect innocence each soul, like the Apostles at the Last Supper, cries out, “Is it I, Lord” (Matt. 26:22).”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop