Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflection asks “What Can The Saints Teach us About Lent?”
In his reflection, Fr. Barron says that a lot of saints go through a period of “extremes” to try and imitate Christ’s 40 days in the desert. Sometimes, though, God puts these saints through an extreme period when they least expect it.
While St. Ignatius of Loyola chose to spend a year in a cave, fasting and turning into Bigfoot, Mother Teresa had a period where she felt so far away from God and her faith was constantly put to the test. She called it the “Dark Night of the Soul,” taking inspiration from St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila who both went through a similar trial.
Fr. Barron also mentions the 30 Day Spiritual Exercises which, for those who don’t know, are a series of meditations that involve placing oneself within a certain event in the Gospels. It’s a very imaginative exercise and they can be pretty intense. However, for Soon-to-be-Saint John Paul II, he endured his own intense spiritual trial in the form of Parkinson’s disease.
Sometimes we choose to push ourselves to the limit and other times, God pushes us. It all depends on the person. I’ve stated on this blog before that God doesn’t just think of the world as a whole, but he also thinks about every individual person and what each individual needs. Lent is not just a tradition for Christianity as a whole, but can also be a period of tests, trials, or great changes for each and every Christian.
But the good news is that as of tomorrow, we’ll be halfway done with Lent! To quote Bon Jovi:
We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got
‘Cause it doesn’t make a difference
If we make it or not
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot
For love – we’ll give it a shot
Whooah, we’re half way there
Livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand and we’ll make it – I swear
Livin’ on a prayer
Only for Christians, it is a difference if we make it through Lent and come out a different person or not. But the good news is that because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, we are not alone. We carry each other as we carry our individual crosses. We are all living on a prayer, but it’s not a bad thing.
So now that we’re almost halfway there, tell me how Lent has been going for you? What have you learned about yourself or about what it means to be a Christian?