February 23: Lent and Prayer with God’s Word

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’” Matthew 6,7

During Lent we are encouraged to renew our practice of prayer and to adopt an “attentive listening” to the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. Taking the message of the Bible to heart is more than just a Lenten exercise, it is a lifelong task. When we hear the Word of God, we are called to do it in a way that will help us let it soak into the driest parts of our souls; we are called to allow it to reach us in a way that we will feel God as near to us as our beating hearts. The word of God, after all, is what we call “purposeful”: it travels from the pages of each passage to our hearts and then to the depths of our souls. Having reached us there and having touched our souls, it can then begin to bear the fruit for which it was intended. Remember: there is power, comfort, and nourishment in the Word of God … take it in and allow God to bear the fruit He has planned.


A Lenten Bonus from Pope Francis: “Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ, living in His Word, in the sacraments, and in our neighbor. The Lord, who overcame the deceptions of the Tempter during the forty days in the desert, shows us the path we must take. May the Holy Spirit lead us on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God’s Word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need. Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open the doors of our hearts to the weak and poor. Then we will be able to experience and share to the full the joy of Easter.”

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