Lenten Message from our Pastor
On Ash Wednesday, we gathered to commit ourselves to our annual Lenten journey. Enriched with the Word of God, nourished with the Body of Christ, and marked with the Ashes of Repentance, we are sent out into the world, much like Christ in the desert. Our journey is one that seeks to renew us in the constant process of conversion. Through the traditional practices of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving, we are invited to reflect more deeply on our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. May this coming season of Lent become more than a “this is what we always do” approach, and rather, challenge us to discover a greater sense of devotion in living out our faith... As the words of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, heard every Ash Wednesday remind us, “Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation”.
PRAYER, while always necessary for our relationship with God, is a valuable part of the Lenten journey. We are invited to consider increased participation at Mass, the prayer of the Stations of the Cross, or other forms of prayer – all leading us to a deeper understanding of God’s presence in our lives.
FASTING refers to limitations on food and drink. The regulations of fast prescribe taking only one full meal a day, with two smaller ones; nothing in between meals. There are two days of fast: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Additionally, individuals are asked to reflect on their lives, and seek to fast from something that has kept them from focusing more on their relationship with the Lord (i.e. – excessive TV or social media, certain foods or vices, etc.).
ABSTAINING means refraining from certain kinds of food or drink, typically meat. Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent including Good Friday are days of abstaining from meat.
ALMSGIVING, like prayer, should always be part of our Christian journey, but like prayer, becomes a heightened awareness and understanding during the Lenten season. Consider your gift to the 2023 Annual Diocesan Appeal–One in Hope, One in Mission, contributions to the Holy Week collections for Catholic Relief Services (Rice Bowl on Holy Thursday and the Holy Land on Good Friday), as well as an increased contributions to the parish and other charities of choice.