In this is love: not that we have loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
as expiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Day 1: Ash Wednesday – Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret – Matthew 6:6
When was the last time you went into your room, closed the door, and prayed to your Heavenly Father wholeheartedly? A real, silent, reverent and single-minded prayer in a dedicated space, for a dedicated reason, in a dedicated way? Chances are, it’s been a while. Life is demanding and time is precious. Solitude is almost nonexistent these days. And yet, here we are at the very beginning of Lent being told to do just that — to go into our rooms and make time and space for God. We are called to be intentional and focused in our prayers, to worry not about appearances but about what lies at the heart of the matter, even if no one else knows what we are doing or why we are doing it. Lent is a time to reflect, “take stock,” and start anew.
As we stand today on the brink of forty days in the desert, we know that we are on the cusp of possibility, another chance to get it right once and for all. The question is: How badly do we want that? Do we want God enough to step outside of our routine and sacrifice, pray and fast like our life depended on it? Because in truth, it does.
Day 1 Lenten Meditation
Imagine that this Lent comes with a fresh, blank slate. You have the ability to create around you whatever your spirit most desires. How will you fill this new space? Will you waste it on spiritual junk food — platitudes and pleasantries that look impressive but hardly scratch the surface of your soul? Or will you dive deep this season, urged forward by an innate desire to carve a new path through the weeds of worldliness that so often choke out God’s love, Light and goodness? This path is not easy, but it is a sure way forward. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Today we begin anew, one step at time.
God, we cannot see You through the dense fog of the daily demands that clamor for our attention, but we sense Your presence swirling ever so lovingly around us. We humbly ask for the grace and wisdom to seek Your face first, always, even as the world continuously bangs on our door demanding more than we have to give. In this moment, we want to remain with You, away from the world’s view, and locked in Your holy gaze. Loving Father, may our Lenten Season overflow with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — all performed in holy hiddenness. Sanctify the hidden things in us that cry out for You. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Offer your Ash Wednesday fasting for all who are ensnared by sin.
“You are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us as though [we are] the only ones in Your care” – Saint Augustine.