Staying centered during Lent

    March 3, 2024

    How are those Lenten commitments coming? It depends on the year whether I “give up” something or not. This year I was feeling a need to spend more time in prayer and use the various “paths” of prayer to go deeper. By “paths” of prayer, I mean swimming, and being one with God in that movement through the water. Also centering prayer, that practice of consent to the love, the presence, the action of God in my life. And Lectio Divina — literally “divine reading” — with the rich scriptures of the Lenten season. It is making a difference!

    We hear in today’s readings the very familiar recitation of the Ten Commandments in Exodus — truly, they are a fine framework through which to live one’s life and a tool that perhaps our country could use a bit more exposure to! The reading from 1 Corinthians reminds us that “we proclaim Christ crucified” and “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

    Most days I suspect we encounter Christ crucified in our neighbors whose paths we cross. The unequal distribution of wealth has certainly taken its toll on so many who are served by Catholic Charities! And yet we recognize that, on any day, the wisdom of God will guide us and we will be made strong through God’s strength. It is a regular saying of mine: “I have no illusion that I can do this ministry. I know that God is in charge and my job is to listen.” Surely that is enough to keep us centered this Lent.

    Sr. Betsy Van Deusen is a Sister of Saint Joseph of Carondelet serving in ministry as the CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, NY.

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