Dear Parish Family,
We are less than one week from Ash Wednesday and the beginning of our Lenten season. The word “lent” means “spring”, to “lengthening of days.” Historically, Christians have recognized the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter, excluding Sundays, as a time to reflect upon Jesus’ time in the wilderness after his baptism
The reception of ashes is not intended to be a merely a sign but an external reminder that from the day of Ash Wednesday forward, you are preparing yourself for the observances of Holy Week.
We will hear about prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, the three spiritual practices that our Church especially recommends during this Lenten season.
During the season of Lent the Church calls us to a spirit of penance, above all fasting, prayer and alms-giving, “which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others” (CCC 1969, 1434.)
Prayer offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism.
Praying first thing in the morning, while the house is still quiet, or talking to God while on your commute to work are simple ways to add prayer into everyday life. Read a chapter of the Bible every day, what better way to get to know the heart and mind of God.
Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, attend the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings, praying the Rosary, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or attending a retreat are other ways to pray. The Sunday liturgy is the greatest form of prayer because it is where we receive the gift of the Holy Eucharist the very real presence of the Risen Christ. Attending weekly (or daily) Mass is an essential part of a healthy prayer life.
Fasting is a time to fast from those things or habits that may have become a roadblock to our relationship with God.
Alms Giving means making the needs of others our own, specially the needy of our world.
God Bless you as we begin this Lenten Season,