As global citizens of a fast-paced digital age, there is no shortage of messages which spread the Word of God. Social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram supply a flurry of posts on a daily, more so, an hourly basis. While it is important to communicate and share the Word of God, does mere forwarding of posts fulfil our role as responsible Catholics or enrich our spiritual life?
Beginning on Ash Monday, followed by Good Friday and concluding on Easter, the season of Lent urges us to deepen our spiritual journey through three observances: prayer, fasting and alms-giving. “Lent is the favourable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in his word, in the sacraments and in our neighbour. The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take”, says Pope Francis. The season of Lent is thus a time for reflection, transformation of our spiritual self and an invitation to God’s life.
Each year, during this season, we see people sacrifice a variety of temptations – non-vegetarian food, desserts, television, etc., which is commendable. However, bringing about a spiritual renewal and experiencing God requires more than just that. Our thoughts and actions, words and deeds, prayer and forgiveness, all come to the forefront. We must reflect upon ourselves to see what change we want to bring in our lives.
The ‘change’ being referred here is not confined to an individual, but the society as a larger unit. A relevant example of this would be #CarbonFast, a unique campaign undertaken by various Catholic communities across the world to reduce damage caused to the ecosystem. Specifically taken-up during the season of Lent, individuals are asked to reflect upon their actions and consciously take steps to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This initiative is aimed at protecting the environment and conserving energy, thereby reducing the impact of global warming and making the world a sustainable place to live in.
So, what is God inviting you to change during this Lent?