Our homeland is in heaven, and from heaven comes the saviour we are waiting for, the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will transfigure these wretched bodies of ours into copies of his glorious body. Philippians 3:20-21
Lent is a time during which we should look forward to the celebrations of Holy Week, that is, to the joy of Easter, the triumph of Christ our Lord over death and sin. That is our great joy – that is the foundation of all our hope. But there is another looking forward which is part of Christian living and one to which we turn our attention in particular during Lent, and it is the looking forward to heaven, to the time when we shall be totally, wholly with God.
A turning to God. Therefore, how important it is in planning our Lent that there should be resolutions of a positive nature. Turning away from what separates us from God. The most dangerous thing is pride: I will not serve; I make myself the centre of my life; I want my way; I want things to go the way I think they ought to.
The second great sin is unkindness – lack of charity, lack of love. There is a third thing that separates us from God, which you might find surprising – grumbling.
I learnt this from the Rule of St Benedict, which is constantly telling monks that they must not be grumblers. This is very shrewd. There is nothing worse than living with people who grumble; there is nothing more corrosive than grumbling; nothing more unsettling than grumbling.
Let our Lent be not only cheerful but deeply joyous, because we have determined to turn to God, and we know that to turn to God is to receive an outpouring of his love.
Lord, turn our hearts and minds away from ourselves, towards you.
We pray for all those without a place to rest – that they will find a place to call home.
Reflection by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB – originally in ‘A Turning to God’, edited by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly (DLT 2007), used with permission