Dear Friends in Christ,
Lent begins in ten days with Ash Wednesday, this year on 6 March, and each one of us is called by the Lord Jesus to a deeper conversion as we prepare to celebrate the Passover of the Lord at Easter. During the coming 40 Days, let us strive to live in fidelity to the promises of our Baptism which we will renew at the Easter Vigil and at all the Masses of Easter Sunday. “Are you unaware,” Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, “that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6.3-4).
To live the new life of Baptism requires that we first die to sin and self and learn to live for Christ, and the disciplines of Lent are meant to help us in the lifelong work of living by grace through faith in the Son of God through the means of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Here are some of the practical ways we can do that during the 40 Days:
+ come celebrate Vespers at 5 pm on each Sunday of Lent and bring a friend.
+ give alms by placing a donation in the Poor Box at each door of the church, the gifts to which go to feed the hungry at Project Host on Academy Street.
+ go to Confession on a Wednesday afternoon from 5 to 6 pm or a Saturday afternoon from 3.30 to 4.30 pm. Go early this Lent, and do not wait until Holy Week when the lines will be long.
+ attend Mass on the weekdays of Lent, at 7 am Monday through Friday and at 12 noon on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
+ push back from every meal before you’ve had enough. Through your body’s hunger for food be mindful of your soul’s hunger for the Lord, a hunger that is satisfied only when we give ourselves without reservation in obedience of faith to the Gospel.
+ invite a lapsed Catholic to return to the practice of the Faith by joining you at Mass one Sunday in Lent. A gentle invitation is often the only thing needed to bring a soul back to the Lord Jesus.
+ come walk the Way of the Cross each Friday of Lent at 6 pm and stay for a simple supper with the parish family.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. So repent, and believe in the Gospel.