Saint Josemaría Daily texts

"A great step forward – today, now"

"We cannot regard this Lent as just another liturgical season which has simply happened to come around again. It is a unique time: a divine aid which we should accept. Jesus is passing by and he hopes that we will take a great step forward – today, now." (Christ Is Passing By, 59, 4)

We are at the beginning of Lent: a time of penance, purification and conversion. It is not an easy program, but then Christianity is not an easy way of life. It is not enough just to be in the Church, letting the years roll by. In our life, in the life of Christians, our first conversion — that unique moment which each of us remembers, when we clearly understood everything the Lord was asking of us — is certainly very significant. But the later conversions are even more important, and they are increasingly demanding. To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young; we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask his pardon. (Christ Is Passing By, 57, 1)

What better way to begin Lent? Let's renew our faith, hope and love. The spirit of penance and the desire for purification come from these virtues. Lent is not only an opportunity for increasing our external practices of selfdenial. If we thought it were only that, we would miss the deep meaning it has in christian living, for these external practices are – as I have said – the result of faith, hope and charity. (Christ Is Passing By, 57, 4)

Lent should suggest to us these basic questions: Am I advancing in my faithfulness to Christ, in my desire for holiness, in a generous apostolate in my daily life, in my ordinary work among my colleagues? (Christ Is Passing By, 58, 5)

The call of the good shepherd has reached us: “I have called you by your name." (Is 43:1) Since love repays love, we must reply: “Here I am, for you called me." (1 Kings 3:5) I have decided not to let this Lent go by like rain on stones, leaving no trace. I will let it soak into me, changing me. I will be converted, I will turn again to the Lord and love him as he wants to be loved. (Christ Is Passing By, 59, 8)