Lent, a time to draw closer to the Lord

We cannot let this day pass without fostering in our souls a deep and effective desire to return once more, like the prodigal son, to be closer to the Lord. St. Paul, in the Second Reading of the Mass, tells us that this is an excellent time to take advantage of for conversion: "We urge you," he says, "not to cast the grace of God on deaf ears.... Look: now is the time of grace; now is the day of salvation. And the Lord repeats to each one of us, in the intimacy of our hearts: Convert. Turn to me with all your heart.

Now we are presented with a time in which this new beginning in Christ will be sustained by a particular grace of God, proper to the liturgical season we have just begun. For this reason, the message of Lent is full of joy and hope, even if it is a message of penance and mortification.

"When one of us recognizes that he is sad, he should think: I am not close enough to Christ. When one of us recognizes in his life, for example, the inclination to a bad mood, to a bad temper, he has to think about that; not to blame the things around him, which is a way of making mistakes, it is a way of disorienting the search ". Sometimes, a certain apathy or spiritual sadness can be motivated by tiredness, sickness..., but more frequently it is forged by the lack of generosity in what the Lord asks of us, in the little struggle to mortify the senses, in not caring for others. In short, by a state of lukewarmness.

Together with Christ we always find the remedy to a possible lukewarmness and the strength to overcome those defects that otherwise would be insurmountable. "When someone says: "I am hopelessly lazy, I am not tenacious, I cannot finish the things I undertake", he should think (today): "I am not close enough to Christ".

"Therefore, whatever each one of us recognizes in our lives as a defect, as an ailment, should be immediately referred to this intimate and direct examination: "I do not have perseverance, I am not close to Christ; I do not have joy, I am not close to Christ". I will stop thinking that it is the fault of the work, that it is the fault of the family, of the parents or of the children... No. The intimate fault is of the family. No. The inner guilt is that I am not close to Christ. And Christ is telling me: Turn! "Turn to Me with all your heart!".

"(...) Time for everyone to feel urged by Jesus Christ. So that those of us who once felt inclined to postpone this decision may know that the time has come. So that those who are pessimistic, thinking that their defects are hopeless, may know that the time has come. Lent is beginning; let us look at it as a time of change and hope".