Lenten Reflections by Deacon Federico Drachenberg

The Lenten season is a time for our hearts to be renewed. Pope Francis, in His message for Lent in 2022 said that “The soil is prepared by fasting, watered by prayer and enriched by charity.” Lent is a favorable time for the soil of our hearts to be renewed.

The soil of our hearts is prepared by Fasting: Corporal fasting to which Lent calls us strengthens our hearts, it strengthens our spirit. One example is electronic Fasting, fasting from digital media, often flooded with news reports and troubling images of human affliction, may induce in us the feeling of anguish and frustration, or perhaps our complete inability to help those in need.

 Another aspect is that its overuse often may impoverish human relationships. Lent is a fitting time to resist these temptations and to cultivate a more real, face to face form of human communication. So, let’s Fast more.

The soil of our hearts is watered by prayer: We need to pray simply because we need God. Through prayer we unite with God. Prayer is the source of faith and hope, as light and life is in the face of darkness and adversity. By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out the illusion of self-sufficiency. It is naive to think that we need nothing other than ourselves. It takes one short bout with a cold or a fever, or one time that our car won’t start in the morning to become aware of our own fragility and limitations.

True prayer allows in a heightened way to experience the consolation provided by faith in God, without whom we cannot stand firm. Yes, Prayer does not spare us life’s challenges and tribulations, but it does allow us to face them in union with God in Christ, with the great hope that does not disappoint, whose promise is the love that God has poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. So let’s Pray more.

The soil of our hearts is enriched by charity: God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. His love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. As God provides for the lilies of the field, He also provides for us. Lent, more than ever, it is a time to be generous in doing good to others.

 While it is true that we have our entire life to do good deeds, the Lenten season reminds us to care for those in need, reaching out to those who lie afflicted and wounded along the path of life. Lent is an optimal time to not be indifferent, rather Lent is a time to make a difference for the better in others’ lives. Seeking out those in need; Reaching out with a listening ear, an open heart and a tender word; Visiting those who are lonely. So, let us be more charitable.

Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him.

Lent is an invitation to put into practice our call to do good to all. So in this way the soil of our hearts will be renewed.