Have you ever attended Mass and left asking yourself what the Gospel was even about? Or picked up your Rosary and found yourself lost somewhere between the third or fourth decade and unsure how many more Our Fathers you have to go? Don't worry, me too. I felt that way pondering today's Gospel and how I was going to connect to prayer our Lenten journey.
What did I just read? What could that possibly have to do with what I am hoping to share?
Sometimes, it just doesn't. There will be days where our hearts and souls are not connecting to the Mass in front of us and we can't invest in the prayers written for us. And on those days, it is okay to allow the meditative prayer of the Church to give way to our own thoughts and prayers. Does that mean we give up on prayer life for the day? No, not necessarily. But it does mean that we need to humble ourselves and ask for God's help. Prayer, at its very roots, is a humbling action. It is when we admit our deepest failings and greatest fears and let go of our self-sufficiency in return for grace God grants us if we allow it.
I'll admit it, today's Gospel stumped me. I'm unsure of its context outside of warnings about the Second Coming. No great enlightenment comes as I read it again and pray about it. It may take years before those particular verse strike me. But I trust that God will provide me with the wisdom and grace I need. I believe that it is okay to not know everything; after all, God isn't something I am supposed to be able to box up neatly and understand.
How can we pray during Lent? With intentional humility, admitting that our prayers and prayer life are not perfect. Mindfully praying in the way we need to pray rather than how we "supposed" to pray. Which means that if you're struggling to focus during daily Mass, use that time to pray about what has you distracted.
Today, I am fasting from pride. Pride in my understanding of God's word and pride in my ability to share it. What do you take pride in? How can you abstain from this weakness? I give by sharing my testimony rather than avoiding today's post. What do you have to give that can build someone up? Perhaps something that will require making yourself a little smaller?
Pray mindfully and humbly. Fast from pride that separates us from God. Give by making ourselves smaller, which allows others to become greater.
Unsure of how the sin of pride affects you or how it may even manifest at times? You can read about it here. You can also read about the virtue of humility here.