Lenten Reflection


Lenten Refection, March 10th

STM Lenten Image.jpgGod is always there for us, but sometimes it can be hard to hear the Lord with so much else going on in our lives. We are often living too much in the present, which limits one’s awareness of the omnipresence of God.    The New York Times recently had an article by Farhad Manjoo recounting his experience in tuning out all digital news notifications, unplugging from Twitter and other social networks, and only getting his news from print media for two months.   He reports that time slowed down and that he had more capacity to think and reflect on deeper matters.  

We don’t need to give up digital media, but we should practice quieting our mind during Lent to hear God.  In our readings today both the Gospel (Luke 18:9-14) and our first reading (Hosea 6:1-6), we are invited to understand that God values the virtue of humility and that our God is gracious.

I particularly like the parable Jesus shared regarding the Pharisee and the sinful tax collector. I am much more like the latter – I know I am sinner and I pray every day for God’s forgiveness, as well as for his grace to live out his word.   The practice of prayer, fasting and practicing charity to others in our families, communities and the larger word helps me experience God’s grace; and to receive that gift from others. Recently, I was in Tunis in North Africa and stopped at the Cathedral of St. Vincent de Paul to pray for my ailing mother. As I did so, three Muslim woman approached me and asked what I was doing. When I told them, they asked if they could pray for my mother as well in Arabic.  I felt the grace of God then and her love.    As the Gospel states “the one who humbles himself will be exalted”.

Denny Van Liew

Denny is a member of the STM Community.