Did we put Lent in a box?

Blog by Sr. Bea Tiboldi

A few days before Lent, we might have heard this question: “Have you decided what you are giving up for Lent?” Many people associate Lent with giving up something, and then strive to keep that commitment. We may give up something for Lent, but is this really the most important thing we can do during Lent? Did we put Lent in a box?

How can we ‘unbox’ Lent and discover God’s love for us?

Our human brain is wired in a way that when we are introduced to a goal, such as prayer, fasting and almsgiving, our brain right away boxes us in by associating that goal with familiar schemes and connotations of what to do based on previous experiences.  When we do so, we limit what the Lenten season can truly offer us.

Have you ever wondered why facilitators are present at large gatherings? The role of a good facilitator is to help people think outside the box and to help everyone listen to the Spirit freely, without any restrictions or schemes, and to help everyone dream up innovative ideas. So this Lent, instead of us thinking hard and pushing ourselves to create goals based on our previous experiences, I invite us to let the Spirit in, and focus more on encountering God and allowing God to move us into the direction where God’s love can be shared.

This ‘unboxing’ of the Spirit is very similar to the process of discerning our vocation. Sometimes we might push hard to know where God is calling us or what plan God has for us, but really, discernment is a prayerful process. This process is rooted in God, and through prayer we free ourselves to encounter God – allowing God to work in us and through us.

And so, this is where I will end this blog, because I don’t want to limit the opportunities that God has to offer us. Rather, I’ll just share a playlist of songs that might help us encounter God and go for an ‘adventure’ in whichever direction God is moving you to go.

If you would like to talk to a sister about discerning God’s call to religious life, please contact us at vocations@oppeace.org. If you would like to participate in a discernment retreat, please click here for more information.

Posted in God Calling?

4 responses to “Did we put Lent in a box?

  1. Good reflection, gave us something a little different to think about. The usual does keep us limited. thank ou

  2. Thanks Bea! Appreciate your continued encouragement to think outside the box and to let God out of whatever box we put Her/Him in. A life of ongoing transformation!

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