Many people, Christians included, tend to misunderstand the purpose of the moral life in Christian discipleship. A superficial reading of the Old and New Testaments, fixated solely on "law," tends to miss that what the Lord desires for his followers is not mere observance of rules, but the transformation of the human mind and heart by grace. External acts are important indicators of character, but a virtuous character is always something in process, never complete. Mistakes will be made, but in the midst of even those mistakes the Father calls his children back to embracing the life of grace so that our transformation may continue. Lent is a time for growing in virtue: fasting to quiet the sensual life, prayer for offering to God the space freed-up within us, and almsgiving / self-giving so that love may bloom out of greater attentiveness to God's will. What virtues do you need to grow in this Lent?
-Given at the St. Thomas More Chapel (UST-Minneapolis) on March 6, 2020.