The Link Between Lent and Confession—by Guest Blogger William Hemsworth

The following article is my guest post on The Simple Catholic blog. Visit The Simple Catholic blog at thesimplecatholic.blog for great content.

https://wp.me/p6dLzd-YM

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A Blessed Lent

It is that time of year again.  A time where millions of Christians the world over observe the season of Lent.  Lent is a time of reflection and abstinence and teaches us that there are things more important than our carnal desires.  Lent has been observed since the beginnings of the church and looks to the time that our Lord spend fasting in the desert before the start of his public ministry.  St. Ignatius of Antioch in 110 AD said “Despise not the fast period of forty days, for it comprises an imitation of the conduct of the Lord”.

It is during this time of year that we hear of people giving up things.  Some give up chocolate, social media, and coffee.  Others give up something totally different.  We give up these things to offer it up to God in prayer.  Fasting without prayer is just dieting.  If we are not praying and reading scripture then what are we doing?  Chances are we are missing the point of what Lent is all about.  A time of reflection, realigning priorities so God is in the forefront, and growing in love for Christ an our neighbor.

I urge you to not look at it as giving something up, but as taking something up.  Use this forty day period to make a habit of a spiritual practice.  If you are not currently praying on a daily basis you can give up 15 minutes of sleep or 15 minutes of your lunch break to pray.   The same if you are not reading scripture.  Adding these two practices to your day to day life will help you grow in your walk with Christ and remind you of what is important on a daily basis.  Have a blessed Lent my friends.

A Challenging Lent

This past Lent was the most challenging ever for me.  My Lenten commitment was to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and seek guidance from the Lord.  For the last couple years I had a successful blog, podcast, and recently landed a radio show…but there was one problem.  Though I am Catholic these mediums tended to take my focus away from spreading the catholic faith.

To be fair I was still spreading Christianity, but I wasn’t focused like I should be.  Towards the end of this past Lent the Lord smacked me upside the head, and told me to get my act together.  The following words kept playing like a broken record in my mind:  “Spread the truth about my church”.  Whoa!  That means starting from scratch.  New blog, new podcast…everything.  That radio show?  Well that is on an evangelical station so that must go as well.  My decision was confirmed when One of the higher ups at the station was spreading anti-Catholic propaganda on his personal page.  I could no longer bring revenue to an entity that was attacking the church.

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I don’t write this to get pity or to portray myself as martyr.  I write it as a challenge to all of us.  Is there something that we are not giving to Jesus?  Are we giving him everything or are we being stubborn and think that we can do it on our own?  This Lent was the most challenging Lent, but it was the best Lent ever.  Prayers were answered as to what I should do with my writing and podcast.  It is to spread and defend the catholic faith.  May the Lord’s will be done.

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