Each year, during the Lenten season, we are invited by God to renew our spiritual lives. On Ash Wednesday we should think prayerfully about how we are going to make this Lent a time for putting into practice the faith that we share. Instead of just giving up something this year think about doing something extra, something that will bring your life into better contact with our beloved and merciful God. There are a number of ways that one can “plant the seed” that may bear a fruitful bounty of spiritual goods that will last a lifetime. The first step however is to realize that we are not, in our present state, in full conformity with God’s will for ourselves. God always wants more for us, He wants to give us the greatest gift possible, He wants to give us a relationship with Himself that will make our lives truly worth living with a joy and confidence that will amaze us! The first step in gaining this relationship takes a little bit of courage and a bit of humility. The Gospel states that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” John 12:24. One must “die” to one’s own self, one must be humble enough to know that they are not as they should be in the eyes of God. If we have the courage to open our hearts to God in this humble act, then the next steps will be easy. We all know the areas in our spiritual lives that we are weak in, so if we tailor our Lenten practice to strengthen our weaker areas we will become all the more fruitful. This Lenten season is a great time to be the grain, to plant the seed, whether one goes to a daily Mass once a week, reads a great spiritual book, prays a Rosary, goes out of their way to help someone else once a day or whatever the practice we choose, if we do it with the intention of coming closer to our Lord then these seeds will bear fruit. Let us all answer the call of God to make this Lent something special for ourselves, let us bring ourselves that much closer to our loving Creator so that we can all look around the church at Easter and marvel at Gods bountiful harvest. May God bless us all during this holy season.