Lent – Springtime of our souls

There was a time when I regarded Lent as bleak with its emphasis of giving things up. It is a good practice to fast in some way during Lent, the discipline helps us and perhaps we can give something to help others from what we save. 

Now, I prefer to see Lent as the springtime of our souls leading to the great flourishing of new life and hope that comes with Easter. For those being baptised or being received into the community of the Church at Easter. Lent is the countdown to that special encounter with new life and communion. Lent gives us all a time and space for a renewal of our relationship with Christ. The most positive practice to help us renew our closeness to Christ is making time for prayer, finding a space when we can be with Jesus our friend, because in St John’s Gospel, he tells us that this is the relationship he wants us to have with Him. 

The Liturgy of the Church, of course, reminds us each year that Lent is a joyful season, when we seek to prepare to celebrate Easter ‘with minds and hearts made new’. How might we help what God is doing in us this Lent? Perhaps you will allow me to suggest a short prayer to say each day:

Merciful Father,

help me to trust that you love me;

help me to believe in your mercy

so that I can be merciful, like you, with those I meet.

 I ask this with confidence in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Time is what is needed for us to live this relationship with God, and we all have a special way of deepening our friendship with God. For some of us it is spending time before the Blessed Sacrament, or reading the Bible, or just sitting quietly being open to God’s presence. So, let us pray that Lent will be a creative time for us as we allow God great freedom in our lives.

Fr. Wilfrid McGreal, O.Carm

First printed in ‘Carmelite News’ (newsletter for the friends of Saint Jude) – February 2014

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Steps on the Journey - weekly Reflections from Carmel
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