Jesus is clear in the Gospels: Love God, love others, love yourself. Jesus tells us this is the greatest commandment. If we do this, keeping the other commandments will fall into place with little effort. Sometimes Lent seems like a series of difﬁcult tasks that we toil over to show our spiritual strength and endurance. Julian of Norwich and the other mystics remind us that it’s not about what we do, it’s about what God does. Our Lenten practices should make room in our lives to contemplate the great mystery of love. If we lose sight of that, then the fasting and prayers become empty gestures. Our almsgiving contributes money to a good cause but we lose sight of our own place in that good work.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis
by Diane M. Houdek