Our Lenten Season is upon us and we remember that the Church tells us the 3 areas we must focus on. They are: prayer, sacrifice and alms (helping our neighbor). Why these? To help us to do what God desires of us in our daily life, and all of these steps draws us closer to God.

Now this above, is the textbook answer but I want us to go beyond that. Lent is the season in which we want to become more in love with the Lord. I want to do things or say things each day on earth that please God.  Bottom line, I want to love God the way He desires me to love Him and not my own way.  It’s a joy to know that the Lord Jesus does not demand or coherse us into loving Him, it’s our choice. Jesus said “If you love me”… you will keep my commands… carry thy cross… and so on. So the choice is ours to love or not to love Him.

Now, to love Him as He desires requires some, “restraint” on our part. Let’s look how this works in our lives. If I love playing computer games for hours or playing cards for hours, than I must keep company with the Lord for hours. You know and I know, we indulge way to much into these things whereby we do not give God His proper due. We have chosen a machine over God or a deck of cards over God. Boy this may sound sick, but our god is now the cards or the computer and not Jesus. Remember, I must use restraint on the things I am involved in so that the things of the world never become more important to me than God.  Yet, we just don’t get it, we miss Mass on Sundays because of summer vacation or visiting others who aren’t Church going and under the same breath, I do love Jesus. Yes, you love Him not His way but your way. This is not love for one loves another the way he or she desires to be loved and not my way.

This is why restraint is needed so that I don’t indulge into areas of life that depart me from the Lord. However, when I restrain myself from people, places or things that don’t embellish my love for Jesus, than I begin to love God with my whole heart, being and soul. Have a Blessed Lenten Season and may Mary guide you each day in loving her son, Jesus.

 Fr. Dan