Lent is for Transformation.
Fr. Richard Rohr says: As we enter Lent, we are reminded that we are “dust to dust” and “ashes to ashes.” After a year full of sorrows such as the separation of families at the US border, destructive wildfires, mass shootings, war and famine in Yemen, refugees fleeing Syria, and much of the world’s suffering, we should ready ourselves for a season of somber humility. Lent offers an invitation to pray, to say I am sorry, and to go hungry once in a while knowing that others do so often. And we do so with genuine grief—but not without hope or a sense of wonder at what God has done for us.
Laurence Freeman OSB says: During Lent as we try to harmonise ourselves – inner and outer, mentally, emotionally and physically – we should try each day to observe our role in the power structures of the world, work, family and in public spaces. Harmony with ourselves makes for integrity and so for peace of mind. But the consequence is a greater integrity in the world we live and work in – politics, business, education, medicine, science or finance. In all of these we hear the words of Isaiah warning us not to let our spirituality become self-centred and ego-dominated. If you can steer clear of this (hard in our age of spiritual materialism and false ideas of integrity) the quality of action changes. Don’t oppress your workmen or strike the poor with your fist. Instead break unjust fetters and let the oppressed go free, share your bread with the hungry and shelter the homeless poor. Build bridges not walls.
Then, he claims, you will feel the guidance of the Lord giving you relief in desert places. Remember, for Lent we focus on the microcosm in order to better understand the cosmos. These things are true and they prove themselves in the holy-land experience of our daily lives. If we take a time each evening, after meditation, to examine what the day was like, we will usually be surprised by the meaning that emerges. It’s endlessly surprising how self-renunciation restores us to ourselves and our place in the wholeness of things.
Pope Francis says: Lent is a good time to concentrate on fighting the urge to gossip about others and instead trying to correct one’s own faults and defects, Pope Francis focused on the line from the day’s Gospel: “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?”
“We all know it usually is easier or more comfortable to notice and condemn the defects and sins of others rather than seeing our own with that kind of clarity.”