“Because Nature, and especially human nature, is fallen it must be corrected and the evil within it must be mortified.” ~ C.S. Lewis
We don’t like to think of ourselves as flawed or fallen. We like to think of ourselves as impressive, experienced, accomplished, and the like. When we see flaws and imperfections, we do everything possible to rid ourselves of them so that we can be as perfect as possible. We do that with our physical bodies and we do that with our professional lives.
Yet somehow, when it comes to our spiritual lives, we often fail to turn that critical eye inward to see our imperfections and deal with them. Lewis reminds us that we have those imperfections within because of our human nature. That human nature was tainted by original sin and often causes great problems for us.
Our souls beckon us to follow the Lord, to respond to His love, and to stay on the straight and narrow road that leads to the Kingdom. However, our human nature, tainted by sin, beckons even louder. Our human nature longs for the immediate gratification that the world can provide rather than focusing on the long run. And that gets us into a whole host of troubles.
Lent gives us the opportunity to take a keener and more honest look at ourselves than we generally do. It challenges us to identify the things that hinder us from drawing closer to God. It encourages us to remove those obstacles in our souls and in our lives. We do that by giving up some of our favorite things during Lent as a means of mortification. We also engage in more acts of positive good during the season to remind us of the plight of others.
What we should also be doing during the season of Lent is taking an honest appraisal of our lives in terms of an examination of our consciences. This helps us to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Too few people go to confession anymore. Staying away from the sacrament, however, causes us to drift from God even more.
Physical mortification, works of positive good, and an honest examination of our consciences will provide us the impetus to do everything possible — including confessing our sins — to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter.
FAITH ACTION: Consider going to confession so as to make amends to God for the times that you have embraced temptation and sinned. Most Catholic churches hear confessions every Saturday morning or afternoon.