Today we will have one last reflection based on Kempis’s chapter on the monastic life (1,17). It seems a quote particularly worth considering as we once again begin Lent. This penitential season is a particularly appropriate time to divest ourselves of the many worldly things we seek so that we can refocus on “God and the salvation of our soul.” Is it not the case that we ultimately “find nothing but trouble and sorrow” when the world consumes us and causes us to neglect what is all=important: our eternal destiny?
Joel (2:12-18) is writing due to the people’s lack of awareness that the agricultural failure they are experiencing is because of their unfaithfulness; if they continue in their obstinance surely a worse fate will befall them. The remedy: “fasting, weeping, and mourning” for their transgressions.
Like us, the Chosen People far too often became wrapped up in concerns of the flesh and idolatry. While we may not run after foreign deities, we can easily fall prey to the temptation to treat material things as if they were gods, consuming our time, energy, and interest, but never fulfilling our deepest desires, all the while causing us to deviate from the “narrow path” (Mt 7:13-14)
So let us take this blessed season that the Church graciously gives us to fast from sin and weep and mourn for our past sins. Let us focus on God and what is required of us for eternal salvation. There is not a better way to do this than to consider deeply and frequently Jesus’ sacrifice for us for which we are preparing during Lent. Paul provides a good approach for this period of the liturgical calendar and all of our days:
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:2)