Lent has begun this past Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. It is our spiritual trek to Good Friday and Easter. What a tremendous season Lent is! Have you decided on the prayer, penance and almsgiving that you will strive to perform in union with Our Lord’s grace? Perhaps, it would be good to mention some possibilities.
Lent is a season of prayer, penance and almsgiving/works of charity. This Lent we have a tremendous opportunity for prayer as we have Eucharistic Exposition/Adoration throughout the week from 4:45 pm Sunday – 8:45 am Saturday. Perhaps, the fam can stop in for a visit each week. Other ideas for prayer would be daily Mass, Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7pm (followed by Mass), Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary each day. Or, during this Year of Faith can I read some of Pope Benedict’s writings on Jesus of Nazareth to help my prayer?
As Lent is a season of penance it is most appropriate that all of us take advantage of the sacrament of Penance during this season. We will have many times each week for Confession. Please check the bulletin for the days and times .
A recent Spanish saint, St. Josemaria Escriva, once quipped, “Get used to saying ‘No’”. Lent is a season to say, “No,” to our comforts and pleasures of this world; to say, “No,” to our selfishness, pride, laziness, attachment, etc. Penance is one way of saying, “No,” to ourselves by denying particular physical senses of sight, taste/speech, touch/feeling, hearing, and smell. Penance can also be said of denying interior senses of imagination, memory and intelligence.
Almsgiving/works of charity are the final piece to the puzzle of Lent as we prepare for the Greatest Work of Charity/Mercy: Jesus’ Passion and Death. Through our self-denial during Lent - i.e. sweets, soda, coffee (tough one), TV, Facebook, etc. – we may be able to give to a charitable cause the money we have saved – i.e. baby bottles for AAA Women for Choice. Or, we may have time to perform little acts of love/mercy around the house or office or neighborhood. The list is endless. All of this goes without saying that we should ask Our Lord what He asks of us this Lent. His grace will give us the intentions and resolve for works of charity.
May this Lent be a time for spiritual renewal for all of us.