The holy season of Lent calls us to purify our love.
Personally, I approach Lent with trepidation: Am I ready to enter more deeply into myself? Am I ready to acknowledge my sins and do penance? Am I ready for sacrifice?
In the face of all these questions, I am reminded of one simple fact: love always requires sacrifice. The lover is willing to die for the sake of the beloved. Christ is the greatest lover in the history of creation. We, as His humble disciples, are called to be like our Divine Master.
In our anticipation of the joys and rewards we may find in a future spouse, we often overlook our own need for preparation to the awesome responsibility of love.
For the sake of my spouse, God will require a pure and heroic love free from self-interest, self-gratification and pride. The holy mother Church, thus, offers us this beautifully difficult time of purification, and in it, we can embrace the daily deaths that will serve to purify our love for the great demands of His holy will.
Each penance we offer to God teaches us something about the true meaning of love and each sacrifice we make out of love of God will also purify our love for our neighbor for the sake of God. We will have no neighbor more cherished than our future spouse.
As we slog through this season of penance, it is good to remember we are purifying our love –foremost for God, our one true love, but also for the good of our future spouse.
The happiness we will find in the future will be all the more poignant as it is strengthened by a pure love. That is the gift of Lent: It allows us to prepare for the task set before us, the glorious and fearful call to love.
Reflection question: What sacrifice can you make today that will prepare you to more deeply love your future spouse?