By Associate Lisa Steiner

Every year as I approach Lent, I reflect on my desire to grow closer to the Holy One. How can I approach this sacred time with a clean and open heart? Lent is a time to be in solidarity with Jesus; to feel what He felt, to pray as He prayed. Yet over the years, my Lenten experience has not always been very meaningful. I hate to admit it, but I am guilty of going through the motions. Instead of accompanying Jesus in the desert day by day for six weeks, I find myself wanting to fast–forward to the Triduum. When this happens, it is virtually impossible for me to feel the pain of His Passion or know the joy of His Resurrection, because I have missed the experience of being present to Him in the small moments along the way. In other words, I have not become ready to live the miracle of Easter salvation.

What does it mean to be ready? The older I get, the more I believe in the wisdom of becoming ready, of preparing oneself and then trusting in the grace of God to reveal one’s path. There have been pivotal moments in my life when I just knew the time was right to make a change. I was ready to grow, and when I took the leap of faith, I knew my Creator would not let me fall. We were in this together, God and I, and I could trust completely. I now realize that my readiness at those times came from embracing the small moments along the way. It was during the ups and downs of daily life when I chose to let the Holy Spirit in, and when I let myself see Jesus in other people, that I was becoming ready for new, important life experiences. Day in, day out, I was growing into the person God created me to be.

This Lent, I pray for the discipline to remain present every day, so that I do not miss the small moments along the way. I pray that that anyone who longs to know Jesus more deeply will wait patiently for Him to reveal Himself. And together with the faithful, I believe that when Jesus returns to this earth in glory, His promise of peace will meet a world that is ready to embrace it, and the Kingdom of God will be realized.