Daily Meditation for February 15, 2024

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Rather than thinking of Lent as a somber “gloom and doom” time, take the advice of the wise leader, St. Benedict, who in chapter 49 of the Holy Rule takes a different spin on how to observe this special time. St. Benedict does suggest Lent as a holy season for special self-denial and penance, in order as he says, “to wash away the negligences of other times.” He does recommend prayer and fasting as is indicated in the scripture readings for Mass on Ash Wednesday. But he also suggests that they be done “to offer to God of one’s own will with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” St. Benedict goes on to say that in offering activities of self-denial, prayer, contrition and service, we may “look forward to Easter with joy and spiritual longing.” By having this positive approach to this holy season, one may find oneself more open to the work of the Holy Spirit. Happy Lent!     

By Philip Zimmer, OSB