From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy:
As we know, we are in the midst of the season of Lent. This season is a good time to focus on what is truly important in our lives. Renewal and conversion of heart and mind should be key goals for us. Our Lenten experience should include a clear and compelling witness to our faith.
The Lord does not expect us to be perfect but He does expect us to make spiritual progress. We cannot afford to excuse or rationalize our shortcomings and failures, and accept our sinful habits. For example, we are challenged to resist the temptation to get even, to nurse grudges, and to give into lustful thoughts or actions. We are also called to resist the temptation to take our families for granted, to give less than our best at work, to give in to gossip, and to advance our good name and reputation at the expense of others.
As disciples, the Lord invites us to reach out to the poor, the sick, the elderly, and lonely in our community, and to forgive our enemies, friends, neighbors, and even family members who may have harmed us. In these and many other ways, we are challenged to follow His ways, not the ways of the world. Through these actions, we may allow Our Lord to effect a lasting transformation in our hearts and minds, and help us to provide a good example for others.
As part of our Lenten experience, some of our parishioners attend daily Mass or pray the rosary as a family each day. Many parishioners each Friday during Lent commemorate the Passion of Jesus through the “Stations of the Cross” and then join together for a communal meal. Some also participate in a spiritual retreat or a day of recollection. Such spiritual activities help us to clearly witness our faith and assist us in our spiritual journey. They help us to more fully appreciate what Jesus has done for us. They also help us enter more fully into the Lenten spirit of sacrifice, renewal, and repentance.
The Lord in His mercy gives us the grace and time to seek renewal and conversion. He gives us the great Sacrament of Reconciliation and He gives us this season of Lent as a time of spiritual cleansing, as a time to awake from our spiritual darkness. As disciples, we are challenged to use this time wisely as we strive to respond in generous love to the call of God’s Divine Son.