I've been praying to God days before Lent to tell me what I need to do to be more like Him this Lent. True enough, when we open ourselves to God's leading and guidance, He will surely answer us. His answer to me was loud and clear on the morning of Ash Wednesday.
God gave me His general instruction through the First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel (Joel 2:13).
"For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment."
The first thing that came to my mind when I read this verse was how I deal with our eldest son. I knew right away that God was asking me to be more gracious to him, to be slow to anger, to be extra patient, to show him extra kindness and love, and to relent in punishing him or being harsh to him. I admit that sometimes in my anger and frustration, I have spoken harsh words to my son which I knew broke his heart and mine eventually. There were also days when I have spanked him more than once... more than enough to communicate my message. Obedience is not one of his strengths and I'm tried everyday to be patient and understanding to him. This Lent, I know that this is one big way I can be more like God... starting with my son.
It's amazing how God speaks volumes into our hearts with just a single line from Scriptures. As Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
I thank the Lord for honoring my intention by sending me His Word. His Word indeed is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
A parallel verse affirms this message that I got from God.
"The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love." Psalm 103:8
I think that it is God's perfect timing again in action that I was led to this parallel verse (Psalm 103:8) on Valentine's Day. I pray for His grace to put these Words from Holy Scriptures into action not just this Lent; but every day of my life as I raise my sons. I acknowledge that on my own, I cannot do this. But with God's grace, I believe that all things are possible.
Let me end with an excerpt from a poem I wrote years ago (2005), which was also published in my book When My Bridegroom Comes.
Love so patient and forgiving
Love that's stubborly kind
That is the love that rules Your heart
The same love You've poured into mine
Know that my heart's desire
Is to learn to love like you
Dispel my fears with Your love
Fill my heart with love that's true
- To Love Like You
Update: I recently discovered Catholic Bloggers Network when I joined the Keep Love in Lent blog link up. I also found out that they have Monthly Link Up Blitz this 2013. So, I'm adding this post to the Catholic Bloggers Monthly Link Up Blitz for February 2013 under the Readings and Reflections category.