February 25, 2015
By Father William Muench
Dedicate your Lent. Choose to remember your time of special prayer and acts of mortification for Lent as the intention of praying for someone, someone who needs prayer, someone who is suffering or in need. Or possibly, you might chose to dedicate your Lent to a cause that you feel strongly about.
I guarantee this will change the spirit of your Lent; it will become more than just some various spiritual acts. Rather Lent will be a campaign of bombarding God, seeking the Lord’s help for someone in need. This will make Lent a time of something special for someone important to you.
I would also like to suggest that you find a spiritual guide for your Lent. I am thinking of a special saint who will become your guide to drawing you closer to the Lord. It may be reading some of that saint’s writing. It may be in joining in that saint’s spirit in prayer and meditation.
This year one of my guides for Lent is Catherine Doherty, the foundress of the community of Madonna House. I have listened to Catherine often during her life and read what she has written. She is not a canonized saint yet, it is easy for me to recognize her holiness.
The important message for me this Lent is her call to me to love prayer and silence. So, I hope that she will lead me to this silence and prayer. This, I believe, will open me to the presence of Jesus. Her writings may make me ready to allow Jesus to bring peace into my life and find silence in which to pray.
Catherine Doherty writes this about silence: “Silence is the greatest expression of love. Such silence is deep, unfathomable and endless. Such silence partakes already of eternity. Such silence touches the face of God, upon whom without God’s grace, more cannot gaze and live. This kind of silence embraces Christ, touches the face of the Father and knows by experience the reality of the Holy Spirit. (from “Soul of My Soul” by Catherine Doherty).
Merton writes this:
This is exactly what Lent is about – truly dying to ourselves so that we are open to the presence of the Lord.
An example would be St. Francis of Assisi who found his spiritual strength in the cross of Christ. He spent long hours praying before the cross of Christ. He found strength and peace meditating in the crucifixion of Jesus. St. Francis is leading many during Lent to the cross of Jesus.
Let me again quote Catherine Doherty: