Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
Day Twenty One of Lent: Friday of the Third Week of Lent – Hosea 14
“Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them” – Hos 14:10.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
If you have ever gone hiking you probably know that the straight path is not necessarily the easiest or best path forward. A steep incline ahead could potentially leave you gasping for breath. Rocks or fallen logs could require tricky maneuvering. An unexpected stream could mean you would have to turn back altogether.
The paths of the Lord mentioned in today’s first reading call to mind those challenging and sometimes uncertain paths. We have all experienced moments when our sure footing was pulled out from under us; when we found ourselves in complete darkness praying for God’s help. Oftentimes when we find ourselves in this state it is because we have lost our close connection to God and varied from the path He laid out for us. Maybe it is that we have not been making time for Mass or daily prayer – two key factors in being able to walk and stay on the narrow path. Or maybe we haven’t been loving God with our whole mind and heart, putting Him as a last priority.
When God is not our top priority it is usually because we are putting ourselves – our own wants, desires and plans – before God. We get caught up in the world and our own planning. This is precisely when the fog rolls in. The way forward becomes unclear and confusing and, suddenly, the incline feels insurmountable. However, if we are faithful to following the divine map laid out for us in Scripture (as well as Tradition) we will not lose our way. And if we do, by not following the will of God, re-aligning ourselves with the divine map as soon as possible will help us to regain our footing on the narrow path again – the only path that leads to safety.
Day 21 Lenten Meditation
This Lent ask yourself: What spiritual mountain am I scaling right now? Take a fresh look at the path ahead of you. Are you on the narrow path of God, allowing Him to lead the way? Or are you on the wide path of the world and deciding the best way forward for yourself? Reassess the path you are currently on and, through prayer, make any necessary corrections in order to re-align with God’s will – the Word of the Lord – even if it seems more challenging that way.
Additional Readings Today
Lord, please walk with us along this narrow path. The road ahead often seems so uncertain and difficult. But amidst the confusion, we trust our true Northern Star to lead the way. We pray for the grace of discernment and courage during this time, the virtues that will help lead us forward when difficulties make us want to turn and run. Loving Father, grant that we may always trust in Your will and love for us, and allow that love to work in us and transform us. It is in Your good and holy Name we trust, amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Fast from television or some other form of amusement (such as social media) for the next 24 hours.
“A hidden flower is the most fragrant. I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus” –Sister Faustina.