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Another Lent – A Reflection for Ash Wednesday
“Another Lent,” I thought, “another Lent. Let’s get it over with.” The day was Ash Wednesday. “Here we go again: prayer, fasting, almsgiving. There is nothing new under the sun.” The liturgy began and, after a period of silence, it was time to proclaim the Gospel from Matthew 6. When I proclaimed the phrase, “when you pray, go to your inner room…” I visibly shuddered and went on to finish the Gospel. The words that came out of my mouth were not what I had planned to say.
You see, this was at the age of 48, serving St. Thomas the Apostle in Newton, the beginning of a conversion process that would change my life: I had not been to my “inner room” for many years, a long overdue look indeed. This Scripture led our local Church to take a fearless, moral self-inventory in light of almsgiving, prayer and fasting, viewing Lent as a community journey, where the focus was not on “me,” but on the other.
This remains true today for our Silver Lake College of the Holy Family Community. We join our sisters and brothers around the world preparing for the Easter Sacraments. We give alms (share) so that others may have life; we pray to discern the call of God to serve; and we fast to be one with our sisters and brothers, discovering what truly matters. This holy season could gift us with a radical conversion, or just be “another Lent.” May we journey to our “inner room” this Lent and reach outside ourselves to share a profound love for God and one another.
Father David Beaudry, Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Kimberly WI
Adjunct Faculty Member for the Silver Lake College Theology Program