Here we go. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Like every other year, we hear the same challenge to fast, pray and give alms. Does this mean anything to us? We hear the invitation, but do we listen to it?  Does it mean anything to us? Or do we just do the same thing each year because we are comfortable giving up sweets, TV, social media.

Listen! Listen! Fast, remove from our lives those things, thoughts, ideas that have gotten in the way of our full growth in love. Pray, respond wholeheartedly to a God who is reaching out to us, calling to us. Give alms, notice that all is gift to be shared, to be used by those most in need, those who live with desire.  Listen! Fast, pray, give alms for God’s greater glory, not God’s glory only. As we hear these invitations and challenges again this year, now…be intentional and listen! God is calling us for all. May this Ash Wednesday, this Lent be like no other.

—Kevin Schneider, S.J., is the director of adult spirituality programs at Creighton Prep and serves as the assistant chaplain for many athletic teams.