It’s Lent — and every Lent presents a great opportunity to revisit the Letters of St. Paul and to strive to live according to his spirit.
St. Paul lived with an intense awareness of the grace of the moment. “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6: 2). And, like Jesus before him, he was eager to observe the seasons of grace, even if it required a little extra effort (see Acts 20:16).
He recognized, too, that there were appointed times for penance and purification, and he was happy to keep them (see Acts 21:26-27), matching external observance with interior repentance. He fasted (Acts 14:23). He shaved his head (Acts 21:24). He disciplined his body with some degree of severity (1 Corinthians 9:27).