It’s not obvious, at first, but if you pay close attention to the account of the Transfiguration given to us by Luke, you will notice that Peter, John and James were asleep while Jesus was praying. Does that sound familiar? The story begins, Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. There were no expectations other than to spend some time in prayer with Jesus… but Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep. Yes, they awoke when the vision began but… they were asleep when they were supposed to be praying with Jesus!
None of us have ever or would ever experience such a thing… right? How could I allow myself to be overcome by sleep in the presence of God? Yet, when I immerse myself in Him and become detached from my worldly cares, then, yes, it is easy to be overcome by sleep. I call it resting in the Lord.
St. Paul tells us that our citizenship is in heaven, that the things of this world are passing away—we see it daily—but heaven is forever. When that time comes, Jesus will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body… but what about the here and now?
Lent is a time of change and a time for change. It is for us an opportunity to transform, even a little, my lowly body into closer conformance with Christ. That is the reason for committing myself to some form of sacrifice for these 40 days.
If I don’t see results in the first couple of weeks I shouldn’t give up. It may mean that I haven’t detached myself enough to let God do His work. It may mean I am still hanging on to some control rather than letting go and letting God perform the miracle He desires instead of the one I desire. As St. Paul says, stand firm in the Lord, beloved