This week we turn our minds and our hearts toward SACRIFICE AND PENANCE! This can be a daunting topic that we can wrestle with, but Fr. Steven Beatty, of the Diocese of Belleville, provides us with a framework through which we can understand that hardship and sacrifices can truly be opportunities to love God.
- Ponder on the fact that the world is imperfect because He chooses to involve us and work with us in life. Viewed from this standpoint can you see the value that God places on your life?
- Christ wants to take joy in walking through life with us – He desires to use even our sufferings to bring about redemption JUST like He did through His own sufferings on the cross.
- Realize that JESUS WANTS YOU TO COOPERATE TOGETHER WITH HIM!
- Reflect on the beauty and the profound truth that St. Paul attests to in saying: “I am making up in my own body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ” – Col 1:24. How does this reality change how you can view, approach, and even accept hardship in your own life.
- What is Jesus asking you to sacrifice? Are you willing to open your heart to listen to what God has in store for you even if it is hard?
- Can you see that the chance to strive and to sacrifice is part of the gift that God gives to us?
- Consider that sacrifice is making something Holy by giving it back to God – that we don’t only offer up difficulties but that we are called to offer up good things as well!
- True heroes show their strength in sacrifice. Take some time to reflect on the fact that God didn’t come to fix our world just by word, but by partaking in the hardship and sacrificing Himself.
- Fr. Steven shared some pitfalls to choosing Lenten penances and some suggestions for choosing good Lenten penances. How do these fit or conflict with your current penance? How might you alter or adjust your penance to better reflect the true spirit of sacrifice?