“‘By the solemn forty days of Lent, the Church unites Herself each year
to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.’ CCC 540
My dear Family in Christ,
Lent is that season which calls us to penance and preparation by way of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As we unite ourselves to our Lord in the desert, it’s important to remember why He went there: Jesus was preparing Himself for what was coming: the temptations from Satan, followed by His public ministry and the ultimate test of His Passion.
Like Jesus, we enter these forty days in need of preparation; we too will face temptation, we will be called to live our vocations for the glory of God, and we will face some form of ultimate test. In gratitude to the Church for giving us this particular season of penance and preparation, let us consider some practical ways to live Lent this year.
Fasting: a collective penitential practice of self-discipline by which we sacrifice some good thing in order to detach ourselves, strengthen our will, and free our energy, time, and money for greater things.
Food + Drink: Abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays, as well as things like sweets, coffee(or cream), alcohol, pop, fast food/going out to eat.
Media: social media, television/movies/series, podcasts and music. Cultivating silence, the awareness of how we spend our time, and training our ability to focus is not only good for us naturally, but also essential for our relationships- especially with God.
Comforts: for instance, taking cold showers in solidarity with all who go without water (let alone hot water)
Prayer: in a word, our relationship with God.
Adoration: consider committing to a weekly holy hour in our chapel
Pray the Rosary: can you commit to this daily practice? Could you gradually work up to it this Lent?
Scriptures, Spiritual Reading, Study: consider reflecting on the Sunday Mass readings ahead of time, and/or finding other ways to deepen your faith.
Stations of the Cross: every Friday in the church at 7pm
Confession: if you’ve been waiting for an invitation, this is it.
Almsgiving: given our time, talent, and treasure, how can we serve others(not just ourselves), especially those most in need?
Time: Do you know someone who is lonely, or in need of help? Could you spare some time that might have otherwise been spent watching TV?
Talent: What gifts have you been given? How can you put them at the service of your family, school, church, or wider community?
Treasure: According to your means, is there a worthy cause that you could support-for example, with the money you save from not going out to eat?
These are just some suggestions. Choose wisely & modestly, and commit to your choice(s). Remember, we do this for no other reason than to unite yourself with Christ in the desert, and take another step toward the saint God is calling you to be.
God love you,