Good morning! Today’s Lenten devotional comes to us from Will Birbeck. Will is a junior from Fort Worth, Texas. He is studying Mechanical Engineering and serves as the President for TCU Catholic. Will has a special interest in serving others around him in his community, learning more about the history and traditions of Catholicism, and he loves talking with other people about their faith and spirituality. It has been a pleasure working with Will, and I trust you will enjoy his devotional!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, on the basis of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Lent is a season of surrendering to the will of God in preparation for the joy of Easter. Discipline and devotion are the means of overcoming our sins and allow us to hear what God is saying to us in prayer. I like to heed the counsel of Saint Josemaria Escriva, who warns that the Christian way is not one of apathy or cowardice toward sin. Rather, the Christian is “the one who never fails to get up again, humbly and with a holy stubbornness,” seeking forgiveness and renewal in Christ. I especially like the phrase “holy stubbornness,” as it reminds me to be faithful and persistent in prayer and repentance because I know God is faithful to me. When we ask God for forgiveness, we become His disciples, denying ourselves and bearing our crosses daily for His glory (Matt. 16:24).
The season of Lent reminds us to conform ourselves to the will of God, and to leave behind the comfort of our present age. Cardinal Robert Sarah issues a solemn reminder about the danger of becoming too comfortable in our faith in his book The Day is Now Far Spent: “Nothing great can be accomplished with men of routine who have settled for mediocrity once and for all.” The Lenten season emboldens the faithful to break free from the chains of habitual sin and worldly pleasures. We must recognize our dependence on God as the source of all life in preparation for the wonder of Christ’s Resurrection at Easter. Our trust in God relies on our humility – our ability to rely not on ourselves for strength, but on Almighty God, the source of grace and peace.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ,
In this time of devotion and repentance, give us the strength to present ourselves as sacrifices for the glory of God. You paid the ultimate price on the cross in accordance with the will of the Father, so in humble imitation let us trust our Heavenly Father each day. May we place our trust in God the Father as the Blessed Virgin Mary did, faithfully journeying with you from the Annunciation until your crucifixion and burial. Through the intercession of Mary and all the angels and saints, hear the prayers of your people; Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.