How to Prepare for Lent

By Vinita Hampton Wright (From an article at IgnatianSpirituality.com)

How do I want to be during Lent this year? More quiet and thoughtful? More open to God’s desires? … Do I need to become more courageous about using the gifts God has given me?

In the days prior to Lent, try one or more of these suggestions.

* Ask God, every day, “What does my soul need?”Just ask, and wait quietly. Because we’re very good at fooling ourselves about how we’re doing, it might take several days of praying this question before we’re truly open and humble enough to know the answer.

* Ask God, every day, “What about my life makes you happy?”Yes, when God looks at your life, some parts of it -perhaps many aspects of it -bring joy to God’s heart. Think of how your children or grandchildren or other people close to you make you happy. God is in relationship with you, which means that your sins grieve God’s heart, but also that your growth and love and freedom and kindness bring joy to God of the universe. Again, you will probably need to pray this a few times before you are willing to consider that you give God pleasure, that you make God happy in any way. Stick with this little prayer and keep listening.

* Tell God, and yourself, every day, “I want to be open to the graces of this Lenten season.”Maybe you’re not open right now, or you’re not as open and willing as you’d like to be or think you should be. What else is new? We can always open our lives a bit more, let go of more stuff, listen better, and do more quickly and passionately what we know helps nurture God’s kingdom on earth.

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