Happy first day of Lent!
Now, as some of you sit here and read this, you may be thinking, "Lent isn't happy!" So let me clarify...
Yes, the thought of Jesus suffering in the desert without food and water for 40 days may sound sad. And, the thoughts of the suffering Christ endures for us later in his life may also sober your mood. But, there is joy in all of this! Why? Because Christ faced all of this for you! As we celebrate Lent, we suffer a little- giving up our time or something we enjoy as a constant reminder of Christ's suffering for us. And the thought that the God of the entire UNIVERSE loves us, walking dust, so much that he suffered and DIED for us is indeed something to celebrate!
So, wash your faces and smile- as today's gospel reminds us- and look ahead at the remaining 39 days as the perfect opportunity to renew your spiritual practices and strive toward a more perfect love and unity with Christ!
P.S. Need a good book to help start this process? I highly suggest An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. It is very easy to read and is full of beautiful spiritual advice, guidelines, and prayers that will surely give you the needed encouragement and inspiration!