Christian Counseling and Lenten Ideals
There are other motifs for Lent that Christian spiritual directors can also use to portray Lent other than the image of Forty and the image of desert. One such way is viewing Lent as a time of walking with Christ, not only during his public life, but also during Christ’s passion. One then is expected to carry one’s own cross to Calvary next to our Lord.
As Christians carry their crosses with Christ during Lent, they can also become like Simon who helped our Lord carry his cross. By sacrificing and offering up one’s crosses, one offers reparation for one’s sins but also the worlds. When in union with Christ, these ordinary trials of everyday life become supernatural sacrifices. With Christ as Our High Priest, we bring to him our offerings of trials suffering and pain, and we walk with him. St,. Theresa should us the power of offering little things. We do not need extraordinary actions but the simple offering of daily annoyances. We can also offer sacrifices and fasting. St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises points out that when one fasts though, it is deeper than a mere sacrifice. Fasting goes beyond sacrifices because fasting deals with ordinary denial of everyday necessities. When one denies oneself superfluous things, they practice temperance and moderation, but when one fasts they deny ordinary things.
During Lent, Christian Counselors should encourage that their spiritual children carry their crosses, make sacrifices and fast and abstain properly. While our Lord in his human nature existed in temporal time and died historically, as a divine being, he is eternal. The Trinity as an eternal being is unbound by the time and escapes it vacuum. In the all seeing eyes of God, there is only one reality-the ever present. In this way, our sacrifices and words of consolation to Christ are seen and heard by him as he carries his cross. Hence we can truly walk with Christ to Calvary during this Lenten season, weeping as the holy women, helping him as Simon, and consoling him as his mother.
If you would like to become trained in Christian counseling then please review.
Mark Moran, MA