I was sent a meme the other day that said,
“This is the Lentiest Lent I’ve ever Lented!”
Isn’t that the truth? Lent is all about sacrifice, self-discovery, and preparation for the coming of the Lord. What better way to truly focus on the self than to be alone. With so much free time, there has been a lot of thinking on my part about what I can do better to prepare for Easter.
I had my list of things to do, like say a daily Rosary; a couple of novenas; read some literature; among others. This crazy spin the world has taken has allowed me to really dig deeper into my Lenten obligations. For instance – rather than SAY a daily Rosary, I try to make sure I PRAY my daily Rosary. Same for the novenas, rather than recite the prayers, I PRAY them. Instead of reading the books I chose, I am focusing on learning from them. In other words, I have been able to make my Lent more Lentier. When I find myself pacing or staring out the window, I stop to consider about whom I am thinking and say a little prayer for that person or people. When I watch my neighbors walk by the house, I say a prayer for their health and safety. It has not been easy. I go through periods of unsurety, times of anger, and confusion. I have to actually talk myself out of these feelings and work to regain a better perspective of the situation.
Monitoring myself to ensure these things are happening is harder too. When no one is around to see, its easier not to do it. Churches are shut down, there is no Mass to physically attend. If I don’t find another Mass to watch or some other way to participate in keeping holy the Sabbath, there is no one but me to follow up. This too has helped me to review who I am and where I want to be as a Catholic once Easter arrives. Praying with my fellow Catholics while watching Mass on EWTN is something only God and I know I am doing. It really gives a new depth to the prayers and what is truly happening on the altar. There’s nothing to take away my full concentration on the prayer of the Mass.
One thing my family and I have been doing is choose the same Mass to watch. Then at the sign of peace, we text each other “Peace be with you”. This way we are participating together even though we are all in our separate homes.
I have also never been denied the Eucharist before, and this is a whole new feeling. The saying that you never really know what you have until it’s gone rings loudly through my thoughts. As Catholics we are so very lucky to not only accept Jesus, but to receive him into our very selves through the Eucharist. Something I believe but took for granted. Now that I can’t receive communion, I want it desperately. I very much look forward to the end of the current threat and the return of social activity. I will run back to my Lord through Mass the very minute we are allowed.
In the meantime, here are some ways you can attend Mass spiritually with your brothers and sisters.
EWTN – www.ewtn.com
Holy Apostles Meridian – www.holyapostlesmeridian.net
Salt & Light radio - Daily Mass at 6:00am and 8:00pm on the station, or at www.saltandlightradio.com
YouTube – Search for “Catholic Mass”
United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) – www.usccb.org
There are many more, the most current issue of the Idaho Catholic Register lists several and our own diocesan website www.catholicidaho.org has other links as well.
My friends, know that you are in my prayers. I pray for health and safety in these unsure times. For the quick return of the Mass and community. For a deeper understanding of Christ’s suffering and ultimate sacrifice. And in the end, to someday join Him in His Resurrection and Eternal Life.
Lenten Blessings. May you have the Lentiest Lent you’ve ever Lented.