Lenten Reflection: Tim Gress

Throughout Lent, Manhattan College's students, faculty and staff will reflect on the season.

Tim Gress in libraryTim Gress '19, a philosophy and religious studies major at Manhattan College, provided the following reflection on the season of Lent. It is the first of a series of reflections from Manhattan College faculty, students and staff on their Lenten journey.

Reflecting on Lent, the first thing that I think about is Ash Wednesday, about the black ashes that are placed on our foreheads in a tiny black cross. As the priest says the words “repent and believe in the Gospel” we are marked as followers of Christ. In this season, we are given a chance to reflect on all the times that we have fallen away from what we may have meant to do.

During Lent, we have the opportunity to take a moment and to look towards the word of the Lord for some guidance when times get tough. For me, Lent is a chance to start new, to start with a clean slate, telling God that we are sorry that we have fallen away from him and towards material things, which easily can consume our lives without us even realizing it. With these ashes on our foreheads, we are able to stand out for the crowd, telling the Lord that here we are, ready to become closer to him, ready to begin anew. Lent prepares us for the new challenges that we must face, looking towards the Lord for strength. As St. Augustine teaches, we must move away from material and physical pleasures and towards our loving Lord, where we will find peace and comfort.

This idea of trusting ourselves to God is upheld in our Lasallian core values, as Saint John Baptist de La Salle memorably says, “Do not have any anxiety about the future. Leave everything in God’s hands for he will take care of you.” Let us take this Lenten season to leave our troubles in God’s hands, trusting that our faith in him will take care of each and every one of us.

By Pete McHugh