Ash Wednesday thoughts

Following Christ is always such a difficult thing because it requires balancing many things. Christ many times tells us to proclaim the Gospel in public. But in today’s Gospel reading he tells us:

‘”When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.’ (Matt. 6: 5-6)

We have to be very careful to examine WHY we do what we do in public. Are we doing it because we are actually trying to accomplish something or are we doing it so that we may get public recognition for doing it?

I think the answer to this question can often be difficult to determine even for ourselves. What is our true inner motivation? It takes a great deal of reflection to understand all of our motivations. Lent calls us to spend lots of time in prayer and I think spending a fair amount of that time examining, with brutal self-honesty, what our motivations are, is prayer time well spent.

May God bless all of you in this Lenten season.

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