It is precisely in this that God proves his love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now that we have been justified by his blood, it is all the more certain that we shall be saved by him from God’s wrath.
– Romans 5:8-9
Tonight’s Evening Prayer reading is more confident than I am. Today’s one of those days where I related more to the midmorning reading:
Our crimes and our sins weigh us down; we are rotting away because of them. How can we survive? As I live, says the Lord, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live.
– Ezekiel 3:10b,11a
Besides 8th grade, I have never been “good” at Lent. I truly am a “bad Catholic” when it comes into preparing for the mysteries of Holy Week and Easter. My Lenten observances didn’t make it a day. I went technical and ate meat this last Friday–March 19th was the solemnity of St. Joseph and thus, according to Canon 1251
, not a day of abstinence. We’re now into the fifth week of Lent and I’m still football fields away from being where I should be entering into the most holy time of our year.
I know better. I’m a happier person when I’m taking an active role in my faith life. By active, I’m not referring to really actually doing anything, but simply praying
. It seems like a no brainer that if I’m more myself when I pray, I should pray more. Then again, the entire message of Christianity is
, boiled down, love
, which has already been written on our hearts (CCC 27
), and we’re still pretty bad at that
As a human people, we’ve been trying to get closer to God and thus closer to our true nature for quite some time. The Jewish faith is five thousand years old. The God-man gave himself up for us to be able to realized our true humanity two thousand years ago. The Church has progressed (mostly) for that time, giving us additional aids, guides, suggestions, hints, paths, writings, techniques and examples to make it easy to figure it out.
Yet, we don’t.
The battle between good and evil still wages on. The big picture stuff–as a society, we still condone killing people (unborn babies to felons to the terminally ill to those who lack utility to the poor) and we condone basically any action if we twist it around enough. What amazes me more is that the battle between good and evil still wages on in each of our hearts. As a baptized member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church with all of the resources of 2,000 years of tradition at my fingertips, literally (the Internet is good too), the battle to reach my eternal home is still in the opening round.
That’s the kicker to me. There is still a battle going on, but there’s no reason that it should be. I have the tools, resources and graces needed to make this a cosmic version of my 5th grade football team playing against the 2005 National Champion Texas Longhorns. Why don’t we take advantage of what is freely offered to us?
As we enter these final weeks of Lent, may we try to pray this prayer:
Father of love, source of all blessings,
help us to pass from our old life of sin
to the new life of grace.
Prepare us for the glory of your kingdom.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.