I know I said that my first several posts were going to be notes from the Listening to God Bible study, and I really do mean to post those, but it seemed to me that today my post needed to reflect on the next 40 days (plus Sundays) rather than just upload some notes.
So, I’ve titled this post “Discipline” mostly because that is the first thing I think of when I think about Lent. What is discipline and why does it matter?
For my son, discipline usually consists of a time out or having something taken away in response to his misbehavior. I think that element of deprivation is important. However, discipline is not just depriving myself of some thing but also involves positive action.
Discipline exists in the habits of self-control. Discipline enables us to become adults instead of children. Discipline
This season of Lent is an opportunity to be deliberate about the habits of Christian life. Spiritual habits consist of things like prayer (both formal forms such as Mass, the Rosary and Divine Mercy, litanies etc., contemplative prayer such as Lectio Divina and informal prayer, just conversation with God), fasting, reading the Scriptures and the writings of the saints and the practice of humility. Physical habits of Christian life include rising early in order to start the day with focus, works of mercy, and living a healthy lifestyle.
My wife recently wrote about the need to not just give up something for Lent but to do something for Lent. I agree and think that our focus on action should encompass both the the spiritual and physical habits which make up our lives as Christians.
I thought about asking what you are going to do for Lent but I think the better question is how are you going to do Lent? What habits will you cultivate for the next 40 days and build into the rest of your life?
The truth is that we should cultivate all of those habits if we would truly live Christian lives.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
I hope you didn’t give up fruit this Lent.
::EDIT:: I’ve added a link for ‘litanies’ to the Litany of Humility. Go check it out!