The Best Laid Plans...

About 20 years or so ago, I stopped giving up things for Lent. It's not that I didn't find it a worthy practice; I did. It's just that God outdid  me every single Lent. I'd choose something that I thought was a good choice - something that would really pinch, like Diet Coke or chocolate. But every single year, God gave me a Lenten sacrifice that surpassed anything I could choose: surgery, a serious issue with a child, etc. I learned to trust that God would give me the Lent I needed, and that my plans often were not the best ones.

I'm assuming you get what I mean, what with the quarantine and all.

You probably gave up coffee for Lent, or thought you'd try and go to Adoration more often. Maybe you and your spouse added daily Mass once a week to your schedule or you joined a Scripture study at your parish.

And God has stepped in and given us the Lent He thinks we need.  Of course, it only will benefit us if we pay attention.

There are lots of reasons to follow the instructions regarding COVID-19 in your area. (In my state, we are on "stay at home" orders.) We need to stay healthy. We need to keep the vulnerable among us from getting ill. We need to check in on each other, especially our elderly and vulnerable neighbors, and make sure we have what we need to get through these days.

But would we be stupid to miss this spiritual opportunity. 

We now have time to slow down. To read. To journal. To pray. To think. And while I know that many of you think you are going to be climbing the walls, God has something to say to you in this time of upheaval and uncertainty and illness and Lent. And apparently the only way He could get our attention was in this very dramatic fashion. So it must be important. 

Don't be afraid to be quiet. To listen for God's voice. To ask His what it is He wants you to hear. You've got time now to talk to Him and to listen to Him. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear anything the first minute of listening, or the third, or even the seventh. He will talk to you. Just rest in His presence.  Be with Him.  He wants to be with you. 

Let us not waste this time. God so wants to be with us, and now we have the opportunity - this historical time of quarantine and isolation and social distancing - to grow closer to Him. Let's do so.

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