By guest blogger Nicole Vaughan ’17.
One of my best friend’s favorite Bible passages is the Gospel Reading from Ash Wednesday. I think it really epitomizes what we are called to do during the Lenten season.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them… when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. … When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. … When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so you do not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)
Jesus here compares what we should be doing to the hypocrites who let everyone know when they are giving alms, praying, and fasting. However, we are called not to brag about what we are doing this Lent. This time is about our relationship with the Lord.
I was late to the game about deciding what I would give up. In the past, I have given up a litany of things such as the elevator, French fries, Dunkin, chocolate, and gossiping. I decided this year that I am not giving something up. I usually end up talking about it way more than I am sacrificing. Everyone does not need to know what a righteous person I am for taking the stairs every time to Meagher 4th Floor (Lent 2k15). This does not make me holier than those around me. I think everyone compares what they give up or how much they give to what everyone else is doing. But it is not a time to be doing that.
This year, I am doing things that are more personal, prayerful, and meaningful which I hope will lead me closer to Jesus. I am going to pray the rosary once a week. When I was in high school, I prayed it twice a day during Lent – once in the morning on my commute to school and once before I went to sleep. The rosary has always held a special place in my heart since I was about 14 years old. I pray to have the strength and trust to say yes to Lord like Mary did. Mary says, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word.” This Lent, I am again asking for the strength and trust to accept God’s plan for me as I struggle with that and my need to control everything. I want to return to what I used to do to cultivate that strong relationship with God that I had when I was in high school.
Similarly, I am going to go to Mass during the week an additional few times. I try to make it a priority so I can spend time in silence in the chapel and with Jesus. In addition, I will set aside one day a week to fast. I fasted in high school as well typically during Lent on Fridays. This year I will again choose a day each week where I will fast. I do not want to remind everyone around me that I am fasting. The actions I am doing are important because I am making a sacrifice for God, but this Lent I am going to try my best not to boast or even talk about these actions. I want this Lent to be a time for my relationship with God to grow.
By guest blogger Nicole Vaughan ’17. One of my best friend’s favorite Bible passages is the Gospel Reading from Ash Wednesday. I think it really epitomizes what we are called to do during the Lenten season. Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them… when […]MORE