By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.
Another Lent approaches. This is one of the ways by which Christian people mark our journey through life. With Lent, people often think of doing something special or different to aid in their spiritual life. Of course we are called to honesty and continuing conversion all year long.
But the coming of Lent, based on custom and memory, perhaps stirs a little more motivation for some gesture or practice that can add to our personal and spiritual lives.
It is common to “give up” something during Lent. Often that is some food or a habit like drinking alcohol or smoking. These are good if they help us in our relationship with God and other people. Moving something out of our lives can remind us of our dependence on God, who alone can fill our human emptiness.
However, other thoughts might come to mind. For example, on a positive note, what can we add, what can we give to other people and to the world around us? There is so much news about anger and violence in our world, including right now more news of war and destruction. Perhaps Lent can be a time for us to bring some peace to our local world, to the people around us.
“Make me a channel of your peace” is part of a famous prayer. How can I bring more peace, more compassion, more kindness to the people near me? Besides giving up something for Lent, perhaps we can give something positive and life-giving to our brothers and sisters.