Dear People of Christ,
This month we enter the special season of Lent. Lent offers us opportunities to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and to deepen our commitment to living a Christian life, rooted in our Baptism. We all live very busy lives. In the midst of our busy lives, through Lent, God calls us to take a moment to reflect upon our patterns, our habits, our goals and desires, to pray more deeply with God about them. It is also a chance to open up past sorrows of things we have done and things we have failed to do, allowing the grace of God to enter into those wounds and heal them.
Take these forty days (Sunday are not included) to fast, pray, and do extra works of charity. This is a time of reservation, a time to celebrate less and reflect more. It is a time to make an extra effort to become better persons. Just as person doesn’t just go out and run a marathon, God doesn’t expect us to become perfect over night. Just a runner starts out with short little runs and builds up bigger and longer runs, so the Christian starts off with small things that are not sins, but are still desirable. This is why fasting is so powerful. We all have a desire for food. And eating food is not a sin. (Eating too much is. That is called gluttony.) However, by denying ourselves food through fasting, we teach ourselves be in control of our desire to eat instead of our desire to eat in control of us. By repeating this and fasting from other things that are harder, we train ourselves to be in control of our desires instead of our desires being in control of us. That way, when we are strongly tempted to do things that are sins, we have practiced and taught ourselves to be in control of our desires instead of our desires being in control of us. In this way, we do less things we regret, we are healthier in mind and body, we sin less, and we are more holy.
So as we fast and give things up, it is good to take on more holy things. One idea is to go to an extra Mass. You could go to daily Mass at 8:30. Tuesday is at the nursing home in Fulda. Wednesday is at St. Anthony. Thursday is at Immaculate Heart of Mary. And Friday is at St. Gabriel’s. Or I suppose you could even go to two Masses on the weekend. Another great idea is to go to Confession. The usual times are 4:30 PM on Saturday at St. Gabriel’s and 8:00 AM at IHM. You can always call and set up a time. I could even come out to you if that would be easier. We will have additional times during this season of Lent. More details to come.
So I encourage you to pray, fast, meditate, and do extra acts of charity during this special time. The more we realize we are sinners, the more we realize we need Jesus. The more we realize how our sins are the reason for Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the more we realize how God’s love and grace are the reasons for Easter Sunday.
You will be in my prayers,