We may seek renewal of heart, mind, and body through the disciplines of Lent: prayer, almsgiving, and fasting if we are physically able. Through these disciplines, and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we may allow for a lasting transformation in our hearts and minds. Pope Francis stated that Lent, when the faithful are called in a special way to fast, pray, and give alms, is meant to wake up Christians and help them see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings.
As mentioned in the past, as part of their 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 also come together on that day for a communal meal. Many are participating in small groups as part of our “Living the Eucharist” program. Some also participate in a spiritual retreat or a day of recollection.
In this Extraordinary Year of Mercy, many parishioners plan to attend our Lenten Parish Mission which will take place later this month. It will be presented by Dr. Allen Hunt who will challenge us on how we may be able to encounter Christ and live our faith more effectively in the midst of the trials and temptations in today’s world. We are also invited to participate in the “Twenty Four Hours of Mercy” which will take place in our parish in March. The “Twenty Four Hours of Mercy” will include special time for Mass, prayer, reflection, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Such spiritual activities help us as disciples 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 awaken 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.