It’s always a wake up call (and a little hard to believe) when Lent arrives. We know it is coming, and yet it always seems a bit “in the future”. Then it’s Ash Wednesday (today), and we go straight into the season of prayer, fasting, and generosity. This year, of course, has the added reminder of the need for prayer and penance with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Pope Francis has called Christians and all people of good will to especially pray for peace this year. As such, for me, it has been a little difficult focusing on the personal penance side of things as a result. That is to say, I hear the inner-voice of “How can you be so concerned about your interior life and efforts when there is a war going on outside of you?” It is a good question… We are quick to look and think about things from our own perspectives and needs and forget about a larger vision. Still, we have to start somewhere, and I think that the basic starting place, once again, is ourselves. It’s what we know. Jesus has always shown confidence in his believers that their personal lives (as simple or as complex as they may be) are significant, and powerfully instrumental in bringing the Gospel to the world. That is to say, the Gospel of Jesus is not primarily a series of teachings and sayings, it’s a way of life. This is why our lives, and the conversions we undergo, are the instruments for the transmission of the Gospel today. May the conversions we undergo at the beginning of Lent 2022 lead us to great changes in favor of Christ in the Church and in the World today, and bring us peace and joy. Happy Lent 2022!