Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 3 April
"I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me."
What does it mean to live a good life? This is our pilgrimage and our quest as Christians.
We can be confused and agitated by what the world seems to think makes a good life, but which leaves us feeling disappointed and unfulfilled.
Pope Francis describes this very well, in Evangelii Gaudium, published in 2013.
"The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.
"Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.
"God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless.
"That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ."
Finding joy through love
Pope Francis delights in reminding us often that the love of God brings us joy. We can be deceived into thinking that following the will of God is somehow a denial of good things.
Perhaps we think it means we can’t do what we want any more and we are going to feel deprived. But, in fact, it is the way to live a dignified and full life.
How can we make room for others in our hearts? Is there, as Pope Francis puts it, a place in our hearts for the poor? Or is all our time taken up in a frantic race to fill up our lives with things that distract us for a moment?
God our Father, I place all my trust and hope in you. Help me also to find my joy in you and in carrying out the tasks that you have given me. May I support others so that they too may live a dignified and full life. Amen.
Read this reflection from Julia on giving up plastic for Lent as one way to reduce the consumerism in her life.