Draw Near to Jesus This Lent

Lent has become my favorite liturgical season to participate in. It’s the perfect time to let go of what isn’t serving you. To readjust your New Year’s resolutions and intentions with what has happened so far in the first few months of the new year. Lent is a great opportunity to walk through the desert with Jesus. To suffer with him and get a taste of what he sacrificed for us out of the purest love. Lent is about courage, self-restraint, intentionality, and presence. Let go of your shame that you aren’t doing life good enough. Shame doesn’t come from God; he only desires your heart and presence, not your perfection.

This year for lent I am following a lenten devotional- “Draw Near: A Lenten Invitation to Lay Down Shame and Embrace Intimacy With God” by Cameron Bellm and Brick House In The City. Every week we will be studying a saint, reading from scripture, praying, and writing. I love following devotionals to guide me towards certain scripture readings, guided prayers, and provide me with a bit of wisdom each day. Not only does this devotional have a beautiful cover, it is also beautifully laid out and written. Ash Wednesday is in one day and I cannot wait to break this open and dive in!

Other ways I am participating in lent this year besides the devotional:

  • Max of 1 hour on social media a day (this is a huge cut down for me! I personally felt that a complete social media detox was too extreme. Instead of going “cold turkey” so-to-speak, I am cutting back to 1 hour a day. And, yes, I am using the screen time feature on my iPhone to hold me accountable)
  • Filling up the time that I am usually on social media with reading, writing, connecting with my friends and family, cooking/baking, and moving/setting up my new apartment
  • Nightly prayer with my husband
  • Intentionally seeking out time to pray the rosary
  • Nourishing my body with modest portions of nutritious foods and fasting on Fridays with bread, butter, and milk or water
  • Attending mass every Saturday night or Sunday morning

Similar to how I created my New Year’s intentions, I am trying to keep my goals realistic and attainable, and yet also ones that are going to make my lent experience one of growth and peace. Once Easter arrives, it will be my one year anniversary of being Catholic! I am already excited to attend Easter as a married family and rejoice in all that God has provided for us over the past year. He has done some marvelous works in my life and I know that it will just keep getting sweeter.

Here is a prayer that I have borrowed from the website on “The Synod on Synodality”:

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guid us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.

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