March 1, 2017
Okay, so this is more of a brag than any kind of reflection, but Alyssa and I had our baby a week ago today! As of 10:09pm, Leo Francis will have been born exactly a week ago, weighing a whopping 9 lbs 8 oz.
We've been doing all that we can to recover and love him, so to say that Lent crept up on us is an understatement. When I heard today's readings at Mass, I have to admit that I felt a bit intimidated. I'm trying to just get a good night's rest, and now you're going to ask meet to pray, fast, and give alms?!
I had to take a second to remember that these are the words of Christ Jesus, not the Catholic Church. Jesus, who knows our hearts more intimately than we ever could. He knows exactly where I am in life, and he's not ask me to follow any specific laws regarding lent (seriously, these things are not even required); instead, He is recommending them for my salvation. These recommendations, like all of God's commandments, are love.
At once, I was free to realize that I was being asked to give what I could, within reason (you cannot reason with Him, but our God is, in fact, very reasonable, since he is Love itself). I was being asked to give what I could, in love.
Lent is about love, not legalism coming from the Chief Executive Trinity. God is always about love. As commonly happens, when I changed the attitude I was bringing to the table (altar?), God's love shone through, bright and unmistakeable.
For those of you who are giving things up or adding things to your life as a sacrifice this season, I commend you and ask you to pray for me. At this moment, having prayerfully considered my Lenten observances, I am not going to commit to any one specific sacrifice. I undoubtedly will have many asked of me as I spend the month at home with my wife and son.
This Lent, I'm making two formal commitments: I'll give what I can, and I will actively try to love Him, my wife, and my son more every day.
Praised be Jesus Christ, my son's salvation.