Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.
cf. Joel 2:12-13aAs a Christian, our lives are spent in conversion. The interior life strives to become perfected. Our whole being, seeking the beatific vision, searches for He Who is our source and summit so as to behold Him face-to-face.
To be in communion with God is always a work in progress. His Grace is continually offered to aid us in this process. And while we ask, seek, and knock for this gift at all times, there are times when it seems it is more abundantly available.
Lent is one of those times. The Church's annual retreat before the celebration of the Lord's Passion, Death, and Resurrection is a more direct call to repentance. We are still sinners. We are still being refined as if by fire. This part of the liturgical calendar is set aside for us to make a more conscious effort to become holier.
Whether with baby steps or giant strides, we have an opportunity to become more worthy of our calling as the People of God. Upon the three-legged stool of fasting, praying, and almsgiving can we sit at the feet of Jesus and allow Him to lead us to the Father. With equal parts of Mary and Martha we can again and some more be more closely united to God.
It starts today in purple.
It starts with ashes.
It starts with a reminder: Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.