Return to God with All Your heart

Dear Friends:

For forty-seven years of priesthood I have been preaching during Lent. This Lent I have a full schedule of preaching. I have found when preaching, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I believe that this is true in our relationship with God. To appreciate all of the readings of Lent about following God’s laws and commandments, and to want to follow them, we need to know how much God cares for us. Of course, Good Friday gives us the most powerful sign of God’s love for us as we witness Jesus laying down His life for us.
You may have read or heard of the beautiful poem: “Footprints in the Sand.” It describes God and a person walking along the seashore. All of the person’s life flashes before him. He notices that during the most difficult moments of his life there is only one set of footprints.The person says to God, “How could you leave me during the most difficult moments of my life.” God tells the person that He would never leave him. He says: “When you only see one set of footprints, it was then that I was carrying you.”
Many people have received great comfort from this poem. We all want to believe that God will never leave us or forsake us. When we do believe this, then we should want to respond to such love. Lent challenges us to return to God with all our hearts. We hear time and again in the readings: “These people worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Our response to God’s love must involve concrete action.
Many years after reading the poem, “Footprints in the Sand,” I came across another version that I think you might enjoy. It describes the efforts we must make to become better people.
Here is the poem:
One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen.
the footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.
But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, “What have we here?”
Those prints are large and round and neat,
“But Lord, they are too big for feet.”
“My child,” He said in somber tones,
“For miles, I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith.
But you refused and made me wait.”
“You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt.”
Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand.  (Author Unknown)
May the rest of Lent be a time of many blessings!