By Julia Williams
JACKSON – Can you imagine fasting for 40 days and 40 nights? For many of us, fasting on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent is already a stretch.
Fasting is an act of love – sacrificial love given freely to Our Father. Through sacrifice, we grow closer in our relationship to God, who is the real source of life and nourishment. In Sacred Scripture, the number “40” signifies new life, new growth, a transformation or a change from one great task to another great task. Lent bears a particular relationship to the 40 days Christ spent fasting in the desert before entering his public ministry.
Fasting and Stewardship
Consider leveraging the season of Lent to reform your heart as faithful Stewards of God. What ritual, habit, or practice (tied to fasting) might help you be a better steward of your time and talents while also pointing your heart towards Christ in worship?
Be a Good Steward this Lenten Season
As Christian stewards, we will greet Lent with the best of intentions, but sometimes, we reach Easter disappointed in our own efforts. Jesus reminds us “not to be anxious” with our lives … “each day has enough trouble of its own.” This Lent, simply give thought and prayer to what will most help you draw closer to Jesus. Write your intentions down and review them often. Below are some thoughtful ideas.
• Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the pillars of Lent. Try to do one thing in each of these categories.
• Keep a prayer journal. Reflect on a passage from scripture, then write down your thoughts and feelings.
• Prepare your home with Lenten reminders. If you have no crucifix in your living areas, place one there.
• Take your family to the Stations of the Cross at least once.
• Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and encourage your family to do so.
• Make it a point to participate in the beautiful Triduum liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and even the Easter Vigil.
• Keep your eyes on Jesus. Coming closer to him through his passion and resurrection is our goal.
Excerpts: International Catholic Stewardship Council, Catholic Stewardship, February 2021, e-Bulletin.
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