First Sunday of Lent 2023

I cannot thank you all enough for the warm reception I’ve received since joining the YouTube community. This is a new thing for me and I am definitely not comfortable yet. But, two videos down and I’m happy to say I don’t hate it, so that’s a good start!

Without going into exactly what’s in the video – you’ll have to go watch it yourself for the full reflection AND, it’s under 6 minutes, whoot! – I wanted to share a little bit more about times of preparation.

If you stop and really think about it, we are always preparing for something. It can be big things, like how childhood is preparation for adulthood, or super small, ordinary things, like preparing onions for tonight’s stew, or any number of in-between things. Preparing for a presentation at work, preparing for seasonal changes, preparing lesson plans, preparing for that potentially confrontational phone call. Some part of our mind is in preparation mode. Always.

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

If God is working all things for good, then even our back of the mind preparations can be used for His purposes.


There is always an end goal in mind when it comes to preparations. Even if the event fails to take place, there was still something driving the preparations. You don’t prepare for nothing, there’s always something. You get to a specific point and can look back and discern if your preparations were enough, worth the time, could have gone better, etc.

We are in the season of Lent, a season of preparation. Ah, you see how it connects now. What is the event we are preparing for? Easter, of course. But more than just this Easter my friends. A lifetime of Easters. For the eternal Easter in heaven. Each Lent, we should be farther along in our preparations to our ultimate goal – heaven. How is this Lent bringing you closer to that heavenly reality of endless Easter?

I was sharing about this week’s video with my kids. They are loving this whole new “YouTuber” status they think I have. In the video, I offer the Fruits of the Spirit as a lens through which we can look at our Lenten fast to see what God is cultivating in our lives. As I explained it to them, I was quickly interrupted: “Oh, like temperance? That’s a virtue people can grow in by fasting.” and “What about modesty or forbearance?” and “I bet people grow in patience over Lent.”

Yes! Yes! Yes! I should have talked to them before recording because a thousand times, YES! The virtues they have been striving to live as a school community would have fit perfectly alongside the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Quick shout out to our wonderful school, St. Mary’s in Derby, KS, which takes the time to look closely at a specific virtue each quarter as a whole school. It’s a small thing, but it’s not so small at all when an 8, 10, and 11 year old can hear me speak about God working in people’s lives and be able to specifically identify virtues which can help someone grow closer to God. You are amazing St. Mary’s, we love you!

So, if after watching the video, you find you want to look even more closely at how God is using this season of Lent to prepare you for whatever He wills for your life, consider the following list of virtues to be an excellent addition to the Fruits of the Holy Spirit:

Four Cardinal Virtues (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1804-1809)

  • Prudence
  • Justice
  • Fortitude
  • Temperance

Seven Cardinal or Heavenly Virtues which Counteract the Seven Deadly Sins

  • Chastity counteracts Lust
  • Good Works (also known as Charity) counteracts Greed
  • Temperance counteracts Gluttony
  • Diligence counteracts Sloth
  • Patience counteracts Envy
  • Kindness counteracts Wrath
  • Humility counteracts Pride

I hope these lists, along with the reflection video for this Sunday, are helpful for getting a conversation started with God in prayer about where He is taking you and what He wants you to be preparing for.

Daily Graces.