As we move into the second month of the year of 2020, and life seems to be streaming by, I cannot help but think about an important and precious part of our lives. And, in so many instances and ways, we take that precious part of life so for granted: TIME. God has given us the precious gift of time. We need to thank God for this gift by using it wisely. Stewardship of time is about how we spend every minute of every day. Now it is true that many of us, me included, feel that we do not have enough time for all the things we hope to accomplish. However, each of us is given the same amount of time — 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week. So, how do we choose to use our time? Well, we use that gift best if we prioritize it’s use, which means putting the most important things first.
If deepening our relationship with God is our first priority, then time spent in prayer, at Mass, our personal lives, reading Holy Scripture, and meditating on God’s Holy Word should be paramount. Our second priority might be our relationship to our family. We need to spend time building strong family relationships, filled with respect and love for life, and especially, one another. And perhaps, our third priority might be our relationship with our parish and our community of faith. We are called to spend time supporting others in their faith journeys and ministering to those in need. There is an ancient Latin saying that says: “Tempus Fugit Memento Mori”, Time Flies, Remember Death. This Latin wisdom reminds us to enjoy every day, every moment with love (God). “Carpe diem!” Seize the day!
That thought moves us to Wednesday, Feb. 26, Ash Wednesday. On that day of the year 2020 we begin Lent. We are aware that Lent is a time of prayer, penance and almsgiving. So, it would seem that Lent is a perfect time to examine our lives and try to find ways to deepen our relationship with God. It should also remind us that our relationship with God should be our first priority.
We need to remember that first requirement for our Lenten journey — prayer. Our Catholic faith is full of prayer forms and traditions that are so powerful, and life changing. Find a prayer form that works for you, and truly cultivate your prayer life in order to connect and build a real, personal relationship with the Lord. We all need to carve out time during Lent by dedicating time to prayer. Perhaps it is only 10 minutes each day for quiet reflection on Holy Scripture. Or it may be something more substantial — a retreat. Let it be God’s call to you.
Remember the reason for the season: fasting, prayer and almsgiving should be what we try to do the entire year. But we must make an intentional effort to practice these during the 40 days of Lent.