Finishing Lent strong by relying on God’s mercy

I want to go from knowing about God to knowing God. I want God to be my No. 1 friend that I turn to anytime, anywhere — all the time. I want to be able to pray to God more confidently and effectively in any situation or circumstance.

By Rita Meyer
By Rita Meyer

Holy Spirit, join me each and every step of the way as I journey onward.

Jesus, teach me to never stop seeking you. Help me to seek you in every relationship, place and situation.

Help me to press “pause” when I need quiet time to find you again.

Lord, renew my mind so that I follow you, not this world’s comfort creatures and easy fixes. I want to know your will for my life and I want to do it. Help transform my mind so when I’m faced with temptations, I seek only your face and your will.

These are some of my journal entries since Lent began. My goal for Lent — really, life — is to grow closer to the Lord. Sometimes I feel like I’m really making forward progress, and other times I fail miserably. Yep, I still have a tendency to try to figure things out, fix things, change things without even asking God what he thinks. The old control issue. Again and again, I need to remind myself to go to him in prayer and petition and stop the insanity of trying to take matters into my own hands. It’s like what St. Augustine said about God, “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”

And that’s where mercy enters in. God is a God of mercy. He forgives. He forgets. He lets me start anew. His mercy leads to my joy. And who doesn’t want more joy in their heart and in their life?

A few things that I would consider “grace encounters with God” for me so far this Lent have included:

  • Bible study class in Greenwald on Thursday afternoons based on Pope Francis’ “The Holy Year of Mercy.”
  • My prayer time at St. John’s Abbey prior to Justine’s basketball games in the Old Gym.
  • Talking to God on my morning run down the gravel road.
  • Daily Mass and Stations of the Cross as often as I can make it.
  • Attending the DCCW Lenten retreat in Richmond.
  • Confession on March 4 as part of the Festival of Forgiveness.
  • Accepting another speaking engagement and feeling way more confident than the last one.

Jesus, let me always be open to accepting the mercy, grace and love that you so readily offer. May the blessings that I experience be showered onto others through my words and deeds. And may I finish this Lent strong so that I can truly celebrate the joy of Easter. Amen.

Rita Meyer is married and the mother of four children age 16 and under. She and her family are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Meire Grove. Email her at ritameyer@meltel.net.

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