Doing Something Special for the Lord

By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB

Ash Wednesday creates excitement for many of us as we anticipate Lent.

We remember the black cross on our foreheads: a sign of our devotion that brought questions and recognition from our non-Catholic friends. We remember mulling over what to give up. We remember the dietary restrictions, and the Easter candy payoff.

It was a different day, a special day. There was a reverence about it that I believe still exists … even now that we are adults and mature about our faith.

Today, we may follow Chapter 6 of St. Matthew’s Gospel and hold to the threefold admonition of almsgiving, prayer and fasting. Perhaps we fast from TV or criticizing others. Perhaps we make changes in our prayer life. Perhaps we add good deeds to our spiritual practice.

Surely, Lent does not mean “doing the impossible.” It does not mean fasting to the detriment of one’s health or exhausting ourselves with multiple tasks for others.

Rather, Lent means finding ways to express one’s deep love of God and God’s creation.

As children we remember Lent as something special because we did something special for the Lord. We still do so today. Happy Lent!

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