Lewis Carroll, author of the trippy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, said it best: “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
With GPS so ubiquitous in cars and in smartphones, however, getting lost is getting harder. But one exception might be the journey we take for Lent. Often during this holy season we lose direction and focus. Our spiritual GPS just stops working.
Mark Mossa, SJ, a doctoral student in theology at Fordham and author of Already There: Letting God Find You, urges us to slow down during this season.
“Lent is an opportunity to look back on the events of the year — to stop and look where we’re at in relation to God and celebrate our lives with God,” he says.
“It’s a penitential time — a time to take inventory of our lives. Personally, Lent is a time for me to look at how I might have failed in my life and my ministry. I try to find some way to keep myself conscious of the fact that I’m working through this season while preparing myself for Easter.”
And good news for chocolate lovers everywhere: Mark believes that giving something up isn’t our only option. Doing something extra can feed us spiritually, too.
“Sometimes it means committing yourself to something extra. Come up with different and creative ways of sharing the grace of Lent,” he says.
While the Lenten journey can be exclusively inward, Mark believes that it is best made with a community of fellow believers: your parish, co-workers or family.
“Maybe it needs to be about how we journey together as a community. In what ways are we experiencing what Christ experienced? Are we visiting the sick or helping the poor? Are we being present to people with their needs and bringing about healing?
“It’s important that we take it away from the individual and focus on how we’re journeying as a community. Lent is how we, all of us together, travel with Jesus on the journey of his life — a life that came to save each of us.”