Now that we're past the Easter Octave, but still within Eastertide, I am reflecting on the practices I had during Lent and how they bore spiritual fruit now and can thoughout the year.
I treated Advent as a penitential season which is no longer required but used to be the practive in the Church. It seems to me that I was more successful at this than I was during Lent. I was more prayerful, fasted, and didn't waste time watching television and getting addicted to news on the internet while preparing for Christ's birth.
During this past Lent, I gave up eating a few favorite treats but focused more on the fasting element during Holy Week. I wish I could say that I spent less time reading the latest headlines on my computer, but that was not the case.
I prayed one mystery of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet each day but should have made more time for contemplation and spiritual reading. It didn't differ from my prayers during Ordinary Time. So, in examining my conscience, I should have been more on fire for the Lord this penitential season.
One good habit that I started was listening to Fr. Mike Schmidt's podcast, Bibile in a Year by Ascension Press. In twenty to twenty-five minutes, Fr. Mike reads two Scripture passages with prayer and commentary. This helps me so much. I have often tried to read the entire Bible on my own but found it daunting at times. This made it much easier, and I look forward to each session.
He also stresses that we are a community and should pray for one another as we make our way through Scripture from Genesis through Revelation. And although we had been reading from the Old Testament, he took a break and we read the Gospel of John and the Psalms which occurred during Holy Week, the perfect time for a Messianic reflection.
The podcast is free, and you can also download the reading plan, The Catholic Great Adventure Bible is used if you want to purchase it and follow along.
I also began to read a book during Holy Week, Jesus, I Trust In You, written by Sr. Faustina Maria Pia, S.V. It's a 30-Day Personal Retreat with the Litany of Trust.
Sr. Faustina composed a Litany of Trust to the Divine Mercy of Jesus with 30 verses, one for each day, followed by a reflection and an invitation to trust in Jesus more. I haven't finished it yer, but so far, I find it very inspiring and helpful.
I'm going to try fo make amends to Jesus and do better even though we are no longer in the season of Lent: to pray more often, not to waste so much time on idle pursuits, and to continue discovering the treasury of God's love revealed to us through the Bible and in good spiritual books.