Lent is the liturgical season that the Church celebrates to prepare us for the great feast of Easter. It is a time to repent from our faults and be converted to make ourselves better and able to live closer to Christ.
In Lent, Christ invites us to change our life. The Church also invites us to live this season as a path to Jesus Christ, listening to the Word of God, praying, sharing with others and doing good works. That is why Lent is the time of forgiveness and fraternal reconciliation. Every single day, throughout our lives, we must cast away from our hearts: hatred, resentment, envy, jealousy or anything which contradicts our love for God and our brothers and sisters.
Generally, when we speak about conversion, we instinctively think of something sad, painful, very much like a penance, a form of mortification and asceticism. A somewhat impossible effort for which we are no longer drawn into as source of joy or strength because it seems that we never get closer to its goal.
However, if we stop and reflect on the message of Jesus, we hear, first of all, an encouraging call to change our hearts and learn how to live a more humane life, because God is close to us and wants to change our lives.
The conversion of which Jesus speaks is not forced. It is a change that is growing in us as we realize that God wants to make our lives more human and happier. That is why conversion is not something sad, but the discovery of true joy. It does not stop us from living our lives, but an invitation to be more alive than ever. It allows us to discover towards where we should direct our life.
Conversion is something joyful. It is clearing our minds of selfishness and interests that dwarf our daily lives. It is setting our heart free from anguish and complications created by our desire for power and possession. It is liberating ourselves from unnecessary things and living for people who need us.
We begin to be converted when we discover that what is important is not to ask ourselves how can I get something, but how can I become myself.
When we hear the call of Jesus: “Repent, because the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, let us believe that it is never too late to repent and be converted, because it is never too late to love, it is never too late to be happier, it is never too late to be forgiven and be renewed by God.
Let us be guided by Mary, our Mother who knows how to lead us especially during this season of mercy.
My fraternal embrace,
Sor Mª Asunción González, OP