During this time before Lent, we should look once again at how we are living the Christian life. The following of Jesus Christ is not a self-help programme or a “lifehack”, it is the dedication, born of love, to the following of our Lord and Master who calls us, as He called the apostles, and says to us “Follow me!”
Saint John Bosco, the good-humoured, and much-loved apostle of young people, pioneered social work, education, training and employment, and the provision of rehabilitation and a secure future especially for young men who had gone astray in a life of crime. His first concern was always the life of grace. He encouraged his students to pray daily, to go to confession regularly, to receive Holy Communion frequently, but with careful preparation, to keep the commandments, and to love Jesus and Mary with all their hearts.
We need look no further ourselves than this wise programme for our lives. During Lent, our penances should be designed to build up what is lacking in our discipleship and lead us gently to become more authentically the friends of Christ.