Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lent: A Season for Our Times

If there is one thing that is true about this time in history, it is that there is more wealth and a greater abundance of material things available to more people than ever before. In addition, there is a general loss of the sense of virtue that is grounded in moderation in the use of all things.

People of great wealth want still more and are willing to put the entire economic system at risk in order to acquire it.

People with relatively new cars, phones, and computers are so enticed by the latest and best models that they are willing to go into debt to acquire these things.

People have more food available to them than ever before, and this results in more obesity than ever before.

In times of great abundance it is important to realize that acquiring still more is not going to make your life any better. In fact the result is often the exact opposite. Things consume our time and attention. They do this both through the time and effort it takes to acquire them, and through the time and attention that goes into using and maintaining them. What is lost in all this is the time and attention that was once given to family, friends, and most importantly to God.

It is not without reason that Jesus said that it is the poor who are truly blessed, (Matt 5:3), and that it was humanly impossible for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God (Matt 19: 23-26).

Those who are wise will reflect upon this and find some area of their life where giving something up or at least cutting back will open up new opportunities for family activities, personal conversation, and prayerful meditation.

Lent is the season for getting your priorities in order and pursuing those things that have lasting value. I pray that everyone who reads this will have a glorious and joyful Lent.