Lenten Letter #1

I had my first Lenten letter all typed out and ready to go. However, God had other plans for this first letter. Since, I’m trying to be a better follower of Christ, I will listen to what He wants to convey. I have to admit, I did NOT write this myself as the main idea was taken from my daily reading of The Word Among Us.

Lent is a 40 day season of reflection and preparation before Easter. As Christians, we replicate Jesus’ sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Often times Christians abnegate, or do something extra for God during Lent. This year, let’s approach our abnegation from a different direction by turning our fasts into feasts. Think about how you can replace negative behaviors with acts of love and kindness.

Let’s look at a few examples:

A fast from gossip. Gossiping is an act of injustice because we are, in a sense, stealing the reputation of another person. This can also be the case even if what we say turns out to be true.

Instead of gossiping, you could feast on silence and discretion.

A fast from criticism. Constructive criticism can help us to grow, but when it’s not constructive, it tears people down and strikes at their dignity and self-image.

Instead of criticizing, you could feast on affirming people.

A fast from complaining. When we complain, we end up feeling only more unhappy and discontented. It also has an effect on the people around us, bringing them down and contributing to a negative atmosphere in our homes or workplaces.

Instead of complaining, you could feast on counting your blessings and sharing them.

A fast from grudges. When we hold a grudge against someone, we are keeping that person captive to the wound they have caused us. We are also holding ourselves prisoners to feelings that harden our hearts over time. Instead of holding grudges, you could feast on forgiveness.

Remember, you don’t have to do any of this alone. Just as God promised to answer his people’s cries for help, so will he answer you (Isaiah 58:9). Trust that this Lent, he will give you all the grace you need to fast—and to feast!

“Lord, help me to treat other people as you would—with justice.”

The Word Among Us magazine offers daily meditations based on the Mass readings of the Catholic Church, inspirational essays, stories of the saints and more! Each issue of the print edition of the devotional is currently read by more than 550,000 people world-wide. We also offer digital editions for Apple iOS, Google Android and Amazon Newsstand of The Word Among Us.