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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

It’s time to “put the house in order”

By: Fr. Nicolás Schwizer

Every once in a while, one must put the house in order: clean it up, fix it up, take out the trash and the things which are useless and unnecessary. This way, one can have a better and happier life.

Much of what we say about the material house applies even more so to the spiritual world. We know that Lent is the proper time for conversion, change, renewal. It is the perfect time to bring order into our life and into our heart.

Why do we need to pause and reflect every year?

• Without realizing it, we pay less attention to the Lord, and then our interior life becomes disordered and weak.

• We put prayer aside, that is frequent contact with God, and we become engrossed in personal interests, and worldly affairs and concerns.

• We do not try to grow, to advance spiritually and thus we become stagnant or even move backwards in our religious life. Then there is the danger of becoming indifferent or spiritually lukewarm.

Thus, maybe God takes second place, third place or even slowly disappears from our life. Then other gods take their place in our heart.

Beware of modern idols

These are the idols which Holy Scripture speaks to us about: “Do not make idols for yourselves”. They create a growing dependence in us and slowly enslave us.

What idols might they be? There are a great number of substitutes which can take the place of God in our life. The most common are money and material goods, the desire for power, sex, and all types of unbridled ambition.

But there can also be lesser gods which require our submission and excessive attention, for example, addiction to work, to food, to drink, to the television, social media, to consumerism.

A time to make Christ the protagonist

Christ invites us today to expel all idols from our heart in order to give Him first place.

Something similar can happen not only in our inner self but also in our family. For example: we do not take time for in-depth dialog and it becomes harder for us to understand each other.

Periods of silence and rough arguments begin. We are no longer interested in seeking opportunities to be together and we begin to feel that we only share superficially without sharing any intimate ideals… Then, evidently, the house must be put in order.

For this reason, there is Lent: to put God’s house in order, the spiritual temple of one’s own heart, the home, the Church. It is a time of purification for the great universal Church and for the small domestic church.

A time to rediscover the Lord’s unconditional love

God offers us his word and his grace so that we can order our lives accordingly. He knows our needs and possibilities. He knows our comforts and our threats. His commandments are an expression of love, an invaluable help to put our lives in order.

Dear brothers and sisters, if we do not decide to embrace this task with strength and joy, it is possible that God himself will take care to draw our attention to this. His methods can be very persuasive and forceful. His love is so great that He does not hesitate to recover our love and our attention when He sees they are weakening.

Questions for reflection:

1. How could I initiate order in my interior life?
2. What are my idols today?
3. How is my prayer life? Do I have time for prayer?

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