Praying in Ordinary Time Before Lent
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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The five to eight weeks of Ordinary Time - after the Christmas Season and before Lent begins - is a wonderful time to pray. In many ways, it can be a pre-Lent period.Staying Focused by following the readingsIn our Weekly Guides for Daily Prayer, we outline what is happening in each week's readings and we offer suggestions for staying reflective. If we use them each week, between now and the beginning of Lent, it will help us prepare for Lent in a wonderful way.For example, in the Weekly Guide for The First Week of Ordinary Time, we see the beginning of Jesus' public life and how he begins to interact with people. That Guide offers this reflection:"This week Jesus invites us to follow him, as friends and disciples. This is a good week for us to contemplate with Jesus, what we are looking for and how much we want to turn and follow him. We can pray to Jesus for the strength to leave the patterns and habits of our lives that so often turn us away from him and ask for the grace to make a new beginning in our lives."And, The Second Week of Ordinary Time Guide helps us focus on using this Ordinary Time to grow in becoming a contemplative in action.As Lent ApproachesLent is a powerful season for our transformation. As we experience ourselves reflecting on the issues of our lives during Ordinary Time, we can consciously begin to shape what our Lenten journey might be like. We can begin to ask, what am I going to be desiring during this Lent? What do I need and what will I be asking help to do?It is a good time to begin to dip into our Praying Lent website, to do some preparatory work. Anything that is important to us, anything worth doing well, is worth preparing for well. We have a number of resources to help us think through how we want to approach Lent, and how we can be ready for when it begins.Growing in our Relationship with JesusThe season of Ordinary Time can be rich and blessed because the readings and prayers offered us in this season are wonderful. They give us a chance to grow in our attraction to Jesus and to stoke our desire for a deeper, personal relationship with him.May the Lord who has begun this great work in us, continue it in us, to its completion.