ProLifeCorner.com- Lent is a time of repentance, conversion and coming closer to our Lord Jesus. It is a time when Jesus calls us closer. But we live in a world that pulls us in another direction. It is a direction that goes anywhere but towards holiness. The world wants to make us comfortable where we are at; in front of the screen, in the fridge or on the phone. In short, the world wants us to forget about God, His mercy and healing power. I invite you to enter into Lent as a retreat. There are many ways we can come closer to Jesus and grow in holiness and grace.
First, what are you giving up? Will it help you grow in holiness? Will it bring you to a closer relationship with Jesus? Not just for Lent, but will it affect you even after the Lenten season? Are you offering it up as a prayer? Maybe reading a page a day from the Catechism would help. There is a link on the Diocesan web site to sign up for daily readings from the Catechism via e-mail. I have signed up for it and really like it. It makes it so much easier for a busy schedule. Maybe doing the 1 5 prayers of St Bridget that are placed on the heat registers in both parishes. Maybe you could pray the divine mercy chaplet, angelus or simply an extra Memorare at specific times during the day.
Our almsgiving is going to the Society of St Vincent DePaul. We traditionally fast from one meal a week and give that money that we saved from eating and give to an organization that serves those who may not have enough food. I encourage you to take an envelope in the pew and save your money to give to St Vincent DePaul so they can serve the less fortunate in this area. (Or give to a Christ centered charity of your choice)
Fasting is very powerful. Fridays are the normal day of fasting. Some people are not able to do a normal fast because of medical purposes. However, those people could fast from the butter, salt or extra spices normally taken. If you can fast, fast an extra day: Wednesdays and Fridays. It is a simple way to making that gesture to Jesus of your love for Him. And He returns many blessings.
Go on the Light of the World Retreat the first weekend of March. It is great for developing your relationship with Jesus. You will get to know Him in a way you never did before. In the meantime, He will give you many good friends and fill you with His love. Come to the Stations of the Cross. It is steeped in Catholic Tradition that has helped many people through the centuries be with Jesus as he suffered and died for us.
All of these things are great things to do, but they will be very limited if we do not offer them to Jesus. Make a special intention for these sacrifices. We can offer them for ourselves or for others. But when we do offer them, offer them to Jesus. Simply say, “Jesus; Thank you for dying on the cross for me and all those whom I love. I offer all these sacrifices with you on the cross. Make this offering powerful before men and angels. Jesus, I trust in you”.
Have a blessed Lent.
You can read more from this pastor by going to his blog at: http://stjosephstmary.com/