Has this Lenten season brought you closer to God?


#1

We have entered into three weeks of Lent already. We have 2 more weeks before we enter into the Passion and Death of Our Lord. How has this Lent been so far for you?


#2

Hi Sr. Helena. Well, so far… I’ve learned plenty about how weak I am! :blushing: I haven’t “given in” on anything I gave up, for Lent (so far!). But it’s been rough. lol.

I guess in some ways… Lent has brought me closer to God. Because I’m learning to look more to Him, than the usual “stuff” in my life. Did that make any sense?


#3

Yes, but more so it has brought me to a greater understanding of my soul and of my burden and about the Will of God. Yesterday I realised why he gave me the name kyria. He has been trying to get me to see my soul, my trueself and I’ve been trying to hold her back. I realised he does love me, which was something I don’t think I could really accept. Sometimes you don’t know what love is until it is taken away from you. You don’t know what it is to truly grieve and mourn for the groom until he goes away. This Lent I have had to accept myself and a destiny I kind of knew as a child but didn’t understand. And I am not really sure I still do understand. All I know is my souls said yes three times and forgot to tell me what she agreed to. All the rest of me can do is follow his will and hope that somewhere in the future he will tell me what I am supposed to do for Him.

Today it came to me when I was sitting in the Church about sacrificing myself for my son. I know a mother would do such for her child and children. But what I am supposed to sacrifice I don’t know or how.

I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life missing God. I can’t be happy like others who have found God. It is so very fatiguing.

If I got any closer to God I’d probably go up in flames. But how does a flame that was lit stay lit when she can’t physically touch the groom except in her dreams and how does a soul go on when all it wants to do is lay at the feet of the Father and go to sleep. I can cope with the purgings just, but what is at the end of this?

I need to go to Confession but I am afraid I will sit there like a mute duck in mourning.

I am afraid the Father is going to have to carry me the rest of the way across the river. Because someone pinched my floaties and I am too tired to paddle the rest of the way. Hopefully the Father is on the other side with some answers and some bandaids.


#4

Regrettably, I think I’m falling way short of where I would like to be this Lenten season. Sure, I gave up cookies and donuts, but at the same time I just haven’t treated this period as one of preparation. I guess I’ve been distracted lately so I haven’t stepped up my prayer. I have plans to go to confession, adoration, and stations of the cross before the end of Lent so hopefully I’ll have a strong finish.


#5

God bless your efforts!

[quote=kyria]Yes, but more so it has brought me to a greater understanding of my soul and of my burden and about the Will of God. Yesterday I realised why he gave me the name kyria. He has been trying to get me to see my soul, my trueself and I’ve been trying to hold her back. I realised he does love me, which was something I don’t think I could really accept. Sometimes you don’t know what love is until it is taken away from you. You don’t know what it is to truly grieve and mourn for the groom until he goes away. This Lent I have had to accept myself and a destiny I kind of knew as a child but didn’t understand. And I am not really sure I still do understand. All I know is my souls said yes three times and forgot to tell me what she agreed to. All the rest of me can do is follow his will and hope that somewhere in the future he will tell me what I am supposed to do for Him.

Today it came to me when I was sitting in the Church about sacrificing myself for my son. I know a mother would do such for her child and children. But what I am supposed to sacrifice I don’t know or how.

I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life missing God. I can’t be happy like others who have found God. It is so very fatiguing.

If I got any closer to God I’d probably go up in flames. But how does a flame that was lit stay lit when she can’t physically touch the groom except in her dreams and how does a soul go on when all it wants to do is lay at the feet of the Father and go to sleep. I can cope with the purgings just, but what is at the end of this?

I need to go to Confession but I am afraid I will sit there like a mute duck in mourning.

I am afraid the Father is going to have to carry me the rest of the way across the river. Because someone pinched my floaties and I am too tired to paddle the rest of the way. Hopefully the Father is on the other side with some answers and some bandaids.
[/quote]

May the Lord, through our Holy Mother’s intercession, illuminate your way for you and take you with loving care all the way to the end :). May God bless you richly and deeply.


#6

Hello Sister Helena, at the beginning of Lent I began to be so depressed and angry with myself, so alone. I completely shut out the world for awhile, but the thing was, was that there was no reason for this. My husband is soon to return form Afghanistan and you would think I would be happy. It confused me as well, so I started praying and asking God for help, and He answered. He answered so profoundly that it has changed the way I think and feel. It is such an unbelievable experience to feel Him in my life, it has made me so very happy.

God Bless
Amanda


#7

I’m changed. Yes, this lentent season is one of the most effective season i’ve experience. I’ve developped my relationship with God to the deeper level. Recognizing my weakness and my broken allow me to grow into a mature spiritual life. I no longer a cradle catholic anymore. Thanks be to God


#8

Hello Sister Helena

After many years i came back to the church in July 2008 and i would have to say this has been my most fruitful lent thus far.

I give up smoking for lent still haven’t had a cigarette in 3 weeks i also fasted Ash Wednesday and have given up meat on every Friday of lent so far.I have been to confession twice during lent also.I attened the stations of the cross tonight my 1st time ever (Saint Patricks day).

I feel closer to god than i ever have and im in my 40’s :slight_smile:


#9

Lent is going along nicely. I gave up complaining about my husband [to others], and that has been a positive thing. Difficult sometimes, but something positive that needed to be done.

Fasting is also going well. I find myself hungry more often than I would like to, but I try to offer that for people who are hungering for an opportunity to reconcile with God or something along those lines.

I try to attend Mass on a daily basis year-round, so that’s not really anything different. I’ve been to Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings. I’ve committed myself to an hour of adoration weekly, and it is hard to compare with that. My SIL’s parish had a Lenten MIssion last Wednesday (with my pastor as the guest speaker) so we went to that. This Wednesday will be another. It was in the context of Adoration and Benediction which was kind of cool. Our parish is having a lenten musical production on Thursday in addition to the Tenebrae service which will be on Wednesday of Holy Week. Looking forward to both of those.

I went to confession last Saturday.

Trying to be open to letting God change the things that need changing.

One thing I have yet to do is to clean out closets for stuff to donate to charity.


#10

One of the fruits of prayer is self-knowledge. Have you received this gift during this Lenten season?


#11

What does self knowledge mean? I know I got knowledge of my soul. I decided not to hold back anymore if I can help it and let her fly.


#12

So far I’ve probably had the best lent ever. I think a large part of that has been due to faithfully using a little booklet called Sacred Space, put out by the Irish Jesuits. It has a serious of questions/reflections for each day that begins with putting yourself into God’s presence by considering His presence in your life. There are then thoughts dealing with your freedom–with reflection on how to let the Spirit guide you toward true freedom in God–followed by reflection on how your previous day went and where you saw God present. There is then a scripture meditation followed by an Ignation exercise of walking with Jesus to see what he might have to say to you, and finally a closing prayer. It takes 5-10 minutes and I have found it to be a great way to start my day. An online version of it is available here sacredspace.ie/?lang=en

I still have a long way to go but my sense of God’s presence and my own awareness of my weakness has done a great deal in helping me pray to at least want to want to change, especially in those sinful areas that I really don’t want to even open discussion on. :o

Peace,


#13

Hmm. I guess my answer to this… would be “yes”. Because I’ve gotten clearer picture of how weak I am, and how MUCH I need Jesus. Not just in the BIG things, but in the small things, also.

Sister… thank you, for making us think! God bless you.


#14

Honestly, no. I don’t like to be so negative, but maybe God will at least appreciate my honesty. God’s going to do what He’s going to do, and Jesus is going to do what He’s going to do, and prayer is futile.


#15

Hi, John, I am glad to see you mention the website:sacredspace.ie/ It is indeed a very good website and could be used year round.

Sister Helena, I am very happy to see you on CAF and helping us with thought provoking questions.

Has this Lenten season brought me closer to God? Hmm… to me, other than joining the formal Church sponsored “Stations of the Cross” every Friday, and fast, plus adding more daily readings, Lent really is not that much different from any other time.

I am not a Carmelite but I am fascinated by Carmelite spirituality. For many years, I have been practicing the simple but profound theory of Brother Lawrence’s “The Practice of the Presence of God”. It has become a natural part of my daily life. I have also been promoting this concept to all I know. With my pastor’s approval, I have posted the link of online reading of “The Practice of the Presence of God” on our Church’s website, hoping this practice may be realized by as many people as possible.

I consider myself a happy captive of God, willingly being captured by His Presence. My hope and concern is how to elevate to a higher ground with a deeper communion. Yes, when one is intensely staying in the Presence of God, self-knowledge is unavoidably evident and clear. Working toward holiness is an on-going project, not just for Lent.

With a little information of mine explained, do you have any suggestion for making a better unitive progress?

I need to see my spiritual director. I have not had a chance to see him since last October.


#16

Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind; it changes us. Without prayer, we cannot grow in likeness to Christ.


#17

Hi InLight, it’s good to run into you again. :slight_smile:

I have those days, or maybe just moments, when I feel like that. They feel far too few though as I’ve just not developed the level of presence I would like to have. I still spend far too much time caught up in the thorns to truly enjoy the Rose.

I’m glad you brought up Practice of the Presence of God. It truly is such a wonderful little guide. I used to keep it on my nightstand to refer to regularly but like so many things that we see everyday I just stopped “seeing” it and eventually put it back on the shelf. This would probably be a great time to do a re-read.

As the saying goes, I’m not perfect but at least I’m better than I used to be! As long as God keeps doing the heavy lifting I’ll do my best to let myself get dragged along. :wink:

Peace,


#18

Thanks, Becky, for caring enough to respond to what I said. I pray, but don’t feel anything…just blankness when I pray. Certainly nothing I’ve prayed for has come true.
I’m going to a confession service this weekend. Maybe that will make a difference.


#19

Dear Hoosier,

Keep going - it will get better. I started off with just five minutes a day because it was all I could handle, and I would even watch the clock wanting it to be over. But I kept at it and soon 5 minutes became 10, then 20 or more, and then I found that the worst part was when I had to stop praying to get ready for work. Confession will definitely give you that boost you need, and then with a little perseverance, you’ll quickly find your prayer is worthwhile. God bless.


#20

God is good that He is shedding some light for me to know that I am struggling - but I am doing lots better than before when I didn’t even know I was struggling.


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