Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Giving Up My Will for Lent

Giving Up My Will for Lent

          For the third straight year, I have fallen ill at the beginning of Lent.  Being a teacher, I live half of each day in a petri dish, and regardless of my dedication to hand-washing, I know picking up a few germs this time of year is inevitable.  But I also suspect that God is trying to tell me something.
          Every year as Lent approaches, I work on figuring out what my Lenten discipline will be.  I try to make it relevant to an area in which I believe I need to grow.  And yet, the train has been derailed these past three years by illness that has made it difficult to fast, perform other Lenten disciplines, and even to pray.
          My intentions and resolutions have been good, but they have all been mine, functions of my will, what I have chosen to do for Lent.  With the illnesses, God asks me to sacrifice in a method in which I have not chosen.  I have to set aside, for a short time, the crosses I have chosen, and accept the cross I have been given.
          I’ll admit it has taken me a while to learn the lesson, but this year I have done better, at least, of offering my sickness as a prayer; of trying to unite it with the Cross of Christ; of praying in solidarity with those around the world suffering far more than myself; and of giving up my will for Lent.