This is the second week of a Lenten series. This week we focus on prayer.
By: Brendan Gotta, Guest Contributor
Gracious and merciful Father,
I have to say, you caught me off guard once again. One minute I am celebrating the Octave of Christmas, and the next minute I find there are ashes on my forehead.
Lent has now begun, and I feel like I’m drowning in a river of ambitious sacrifices and challenges that I’m not sure I can be faithful to for a week, much less, forty days.
Whether it is an act of service, or prayer, or penance, it doesn’t matter. All of them have become quite the challenge, and we are just a week in.
I want to pray with Scripture daily, give up sweets, spend Saturday mornings at a soup kitchen, etc. . . . But as the day goes, all those things seem to be bigger challenges than I thought. I find myself desiring to do so much, but upon realizing the difficulty and challenge it will involve, I find myself resorting back to my old ways.
It is not intentional Lord. You know that, right? I love you with all my heart, but by the time I’ve gotten home from work, I don’t have much left to give.
Looking at this week, I know I promised I’d come spend time with you at Adoration. When I said that, I didn’t realize how bad of a week it was going to be. Seriously, it might have been the worst week ever.
When it comes to following through on my fasts, I really tried! In regards to that Milkshake I got today during lunch, you have to hear me out Lord. I wasn’t going to have it, but I had no choice. I hadn’t seen my friend in three weeks, and we had to celebrate . . . I want to pray for her too, because she ate a burger during our meal, even though it was Friday . . .
At least I made it to the soup kitchen this week! I didn’t totally fail.
In truth Lord, I find myself looking at the words of St. Teresa of Avila, who said,
“Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.”
Let that be at the heart of my Lenten journey. Please be patient with me; let me be patient with myself.
St. Peter was just a fisherman before he met You. St. Francis was a rich playboy. St. Augustine was all things unholy. St. Ignatius was a prideful soldier.
Once they accepted your graces though? They were able to do great things.
Let me do the same Lord. Let me put my relationship with you before all else. Let me never make prayer secondary, but understand the necessity behind it, the goodness behind it. Let me desire it above all else.
Let me seek a constant conversation with You, my Lover and my God.
Brendan Gotta serves the Diocese as the Young Adult Coordinator in the Office for Family Life.