Walking Through Lent with the Risen Christ

two people walking togetherWrapping up an Ignatian retreat shortly before the start of Lent, I said to a priest-friend, “How am I supposed to go from feeling the joy of Easter right back into Lent?” He reminded me that Jesus is always risen and alive. We should always carry the joy of the risen Christ with us.

I find it challenging to reconcile Easter and then Lent in this order. Of course, God has no problem with this order because God is eternal—eternally present, eternally dying, and eternally risen. It’s only me, in my finite humanity and comprehension, who has difficulty with this concept.

I pondered what it would mean to walk with the risen Christ through Lent. I recalled how, after the Resurrection, the early disciples did not immediately recognize Jesus. They didn’t recognize the risen Christ walking with them on the road to Emmaus or as they were cooking fish by the shore. They were looking right at him, but their eyes did not register the person beside them as Jesus. There was a process during which the eyes of their hearts were opened. By spending time with the risen Christ and listening to his voice, they gained a gradual awareness of his presence.

It seems, then, that if we invite the risen Christ into our journey through Lent, we might have an even deeper experience of the season. By spending time with him and listening to his voice, we too may find the eyes of our hearts opened anew.

And so, this Lent I pray:

Lord, come beside me, walk with me through Lent this year.
Come beside me, let me feel your presence, hear your voice.
Open the eyes of my heart,
Illuminate within it
Places of eternal Lent where
I have not permitted your Love entry.
Help me to open these places.
Root out that which needs to leave,
And make room for the joy of your Resurrection.
Open the eyes of my heart to see you
In those with whom I live and work and walk.
Come into those Golgothas,
Those broken places in me, in relationships with others, in the world around us,
In need of reconciliation,
And the healing of your Resurrection.
Open the eyes of my heart to see you
in those whose walk through Gethsemane is long.
Allow me to accompany you in them.
Remain with us, remind us, instill within us
The quiet confidence of hope in
The joy of your Resurrection.

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Rebecca Ruiz holds a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. from Tufts University. She has been trained as an Ignatian spiritual director through Fairfield University’s four-year formation program. Rebecca served in refugee resettlement for nearly 15 years and has also worked as an ethnomusicologist, composer, and writer. She and her husband have two sons and live at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. She strives, as St. Ignatius taught, to see God in all things and do “all things for the greater glory of God.”


  1. I loved the prayer. It was apt, powerful and elicited a paradigm shift in my current “doldrums thinking”. Thank you.

  2. I needed to read and sort out my anxious feelings lately. I thank you for this awakening advice in prayer.

  3. Thank you for this reflection, and especially for the powerful prayer.
    I am loving Walking Through Lent. Everything is brilliantly considered and thoughtful. So profound. I am very grateful.


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