Lenten Prayer Reflections by Ron Boudreaux SJ

In the case of those who go from one serious sin to another, the enemy is ordinarily accustomed to propose apparent pleasures.  He fills their imagination with sensual delights and gratifications, the more readily to keep them in their vices and increase the number of their sins. (The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, 314)

We will all be better off when we come to realize that, although created in God’s image, each of us has a dark side.  This dark side (also called the shadow) represents all the negative qualities we possess or that possess us.  These are the things that we don’t want to admit even to ourselves.  They might be ways of behaviour, like the man who pretends to be faithful, but cheats on his wife.  Or the one who pretends to be kind but is quick to spread gossip.  The dark side might be a quiet prejudice which we have tried to get rid of but which is still rooted in us.  The dark side might be residual scars from past abuse.  Whatever our darkness, we must accept it – befriend it, if you will – so we can change it.  Admit your faults and you might conquer them.

All powerful God, you have created us to do good because we are in your image. 

Grant me the grace to know myself, my strengths and my weaknesses. 

Help me to strengthen my good qualities and to lessen my bad ones so that I can truly become more fully human.