3 Ways to Grow in the Simplicity of Christ This Lent
Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking off every yoke? —Isaiah 58:6
Lent is a beautiful time to grow in deeper love with Christ. During these weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, the Church invites us to enter into Christ’s passion and suffering in a real and deep way. We have the chance to ask Christ to make our hearts more like His—merciful, attentive, generous and eager to love.
An essential part of entering into Christ’s suffering is to actively seek out our brothers and sisters who are in need. When one member of the Church suffers, the entire body suffers. We are responsible for aiding those who are in pain.
Who are our brothers and sisters? They are the men and women struggling to earn a living wage. They are the children caught in trafficking and slavery. They are the mothers traveling many miles to work for mere pennies to support their children. They are the hopeful youth yearning for an education.
How can we help our brothers and sisters who are suffering? Here are three ways we can change lives this Lent:
Prayer changes reality. When we pray, we become closer to Christ and more open to the Holy Spirit. We see the ways in which we need to change our lives and the ways we can help others. This Lent, let us set aside our best time to pray. Pray a Rosary each day for our brothers and sisters who suffer. Offer up a Divine Mercy Chaplet, asking Mother Mary to apply that grace to the person in the world who needs it the most at that moment.
A simple life draws us closer to Christ. When we actively simplify our lives and prioritize our time, we become less distracted and more intentional with our days. Lent is the perfect opportunity to grow in simplicity. This Lent, let us spend time examining our vocation and the duties it entails. Let us rearrange our days so that God and our neighbors receive our best time—not our leftover time. Let us ask ourselves if we know the poor. And let us actively seek them out.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, ”Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.” Fasting from the best goods that we have, and giving them to the poor, can be a challenge. But it is our calling. Jesus tells us that if we wish to be great, we must be the greatest servant. We can serve the poor by giving them our best—our best time, our best food, our best clothes and our best efforts to ease their suffering.
Take some time to prepare yourself this Lent. Challenge yourself to deepen your spiritual life and your relationship with Jesus. Challenge yourself to radiate love, charity and mercy to those around you. This Lent, let your fast be one of action. Let your sacrifice be one of charity.