“Yikes, Lent Is Here”

As I’m writing this BLOG, it’s “Fat Tuesday” and I’m looking forward to a spaghetti & meatball dinner with lots of sauce, parmesan cheese, a nice glass of wine, with maybe a yummy dessert. Yet I have to say that it feels a bit like the last meal of a prisoner on death row…. ” Hey Rocky, finish up that filet mignon and lobster tails and peaches flambé, it’s time to head down to “you know what”. 

If you’re reading this BLOG, it’s February 22, 2023….. Ash Wednesday. Can you believe Lent is here…. again ? I love Lent, but my flesh does not like Lent. Truly the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

The good news is that by God’s grace we’re able to draw closer to the Lord during this great season of mercy. Spiritually the best time for me to kick the bucket would probably be on Good Friday as this 40 day retreat is ending. Lent helps us focus on reality. “Man you are dust and unto dust you shall return”. This life is a “blink” on the way to “eternity”. Our good friend and priest Fr. Carroll used to remind us that life is a brief school to prepare us for our eternal home in heaven. 

I just read a wonderful letter from St. Peter Damian to a powerful and influential Italian Duke in the 11th century on this same topic. 

“My dear friend, keep heaven in perspective, focus your attention on the termination of this very brief life, and carefully consider who it is to whom you must give an account of your extensive and long-lasting stewardship. How can it profit a man if today he is decked out in gold and gems and purple attire, frequently surrounded by massed troops, if tomorrow perchance he be dragged naked, guilty, and deprived of all consolation to the punishment of hell? What does it avail a man if today he is endowed with such temporal power that he may cause the earth to tremble beneath his feet, and tomorrow he is forced to leave this world a beggar and a pauper? Where now are the world’s many powerful men, the many invincible kings who were seen exalted to high heaven, having under the dominion of their power almost the whole expanse of earth? If you should examine their graves, would you not find that their entire body, before which the world was forced to tremble, scarcely weighs a single pound? Therefore, my dear friend, zealously consider these points, bring them unremittingly before your mind, and carefully ponder not what you are, but what you will be forever.” 

 (Saint Peter Damian († 1072) was a Benedictine monk, theologian, and cardinal. He is a Doctor of the Church.(Ref. Magnificat, 2-21-23)

In case this was not clear, let me paraphrase St. Peter Damian, ”Hey Mr. Big Shot, no one is going to bow down to you when your body is reduced to a single pound of dust in the grave. But St. Peter, don’t you know who I am, I was an Allstar Basketball player, I went to Harvard, I was an executive, I gave a talk at an important meeting.” 

Lent is a gift from God to each of us, that can help us one day not hear those disappointing words, but hear “well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your master”.

So, let’s turn our eyes to Jesus and ask him to help us have the best Lent of our life. We will be very happy if we do…it will be very good news. 

4 thoughts on ““Yikes, Lent Is Here”

  1. Come Holy Spirit with all the graces we need to change habits that put you aside and gratify the flesh🙏
    Increase my desire to make you more Lord of my life🙏


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