Photo: Artem Kovalev via Unsplash

"If I accept that I am loved, then I live in the truth"

Sarah reflects on her experience of CLU's “40 Days of Friendship.”

Throughout the 40 days of Lent, CL University students have participated in “40 Days of Friendship”: an invitation to pray and accompany each other by encountering something beautiful – a piece of music, a text – each day of Lent. A university student in Buffalo, NY shares her experience.

I had an experience while reading Day 11, “Vespers, and God is Mercy.” I joined the 40 Days of Friendship late, with the preconceived notion that I had too much on my plate to sign up for something else. However, with a brief push from Fran Silano, I signed up. One morning, reading Day 11 while at work and deciding I would play catch up on this Lenten devotional, I found my eyes welling with tears.

It struck me in that moment, when Giussani was saying how prayer is the heart of time that passes, the “how” of time, that I should and never will be too busy for Christ and for prayer. Making excuses is a downright refusal to spend time with Him, and who am I to deny encountering the Savior? I am His creation and therefore owe everything I have, everything I am, to Him. He is in everything—He is at the heart of time that passes— therefore everything I do can be offered in prayer and given greater value. “His return is the substance of everything.” It was a beautiful reminder to rededicate myself to the Lord, this greater Catholic community, and to my soul this Lenten season, especially as I continue my day-to-day life.

Later, as I reflected on the last two days of this devotional, I was reminded of my constant struggle with being a sinner and not deserving of the Lord’s mercy, as well as being saved by His great love and pursuing a relationship with Him. It’s a paradox and I can’t really wrap my head around it, which leads to anxiety. It’s hard for me to find the humility to accept them both and allow them to propel me closer to God, since they are both true. As Giussani said on Day 15, “If I accept that I am loved, then I live in the truth… The first thing that nourishes love, whose original essence is acceptance, is sorrow for the fact that this acceptance does not invest and determine the whole of my being.”

Sarah, Buffalo, NY