We are half way through the Lenten Season how are you doing? It has been a fertile time for me to grow my relationship with God. What seeds should we plant to have bountiful harvest of faith? In Matthew Kelly's ground breaking book "The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic" he shares the four seeds that worked for me and there is still time during this fertile time for you to plant seeds that blossom by Easter and remain your whole life through.
Prayer - tops the list and I don't mean that you mindlessly repeat our traditional prayers that we learned since day one of our Catholic education. I mean that you sincerely think of prayer as a "conversation with God!" This season my heart and mind were struggling with focusing on what I'm passionate about and using my God given tools to pursue that passion. How did I put that into a prayer? For me sitting in church or on the beach helps me feel like I am in the presence of the Lord and then I just let it out. Why me? What Should I do? Help me? Teach me? Show me? Make me? Then I am quiet enough to hear the answer. You can do it too!
Study - In the past three weeks I have read the book "Rediscover Jesus" and "365 Daily Meditations with Pope Francis". Both books share scripture and then apply them to daily living that suggest doing things that will help you embody the call of Christ to live a Christian life. The common themes that are repeated in these books is to practice forgiveness, understand that suffering is an integral part of life that helps you grow, using your gifts, making sacrifices and not judging others.
Wear Your Ashes Share Your Faith
Evangelization - We start Lent with Ash Wednesday and by wearing ashes you share your faith with the world, by not saying a word. Many of us think that to evangelize, we must stand up and loudly and profoundly share our faith to groups of people. No! How you live your life is evangelizing your faith. However, there are times that you can speak up in a quietly powerful way. The other day I shared a story about overcoming an immense failure in my life and the person asked how did I get through it. I simply said "God!" My faith helps me to stand when my humanness wants to wither in the eye of a storm. Share your stories of faith when asked, simply and sincerely.
Generosity - This is not a call for your cash, but it can be. In the culture of my Church Community we are called to share our time, talent and treasure. How can you give? Can you volunteer to help those less fortunate? Are you talented in some way that you are paid for? - then offer it for free. Yes, if you have disposable income share it. It does not matter if you share one or all of these things, but giving feeds our souls and draws us near to our Lord.
It is not too late to focus on these four things to help you grow closer to our Lord during Lent and beyond. I find myself yearning for opportunities to have conversations with Jesus, read more about ways to live a more Christian life, share my Christian story and give of my time, talent and treasure. Anytime we do something consecutively for 21- 30 days it becomes habit. The more I sow the seeds of prayer, study, evangelization or generosity it just draws me closer to peace, happiness and joy. Hopefully, my humble post has inspired you to do the same.