March 6th

Lent begins this coming Wednesday (March 9th).  Hopefully we have all already been thinking about what we are going to do for Lent.  Notice that I did not write “give up” for Lent.  Lent isn’t only about “giving something up,” it is meant to be a time in which we take on extra spiritual practices (which can take the form of abstaining from things, but can also take other forms) in order to help us grow in self control, reject sin and ultimately make our hearts more open to receiving God’s grace that we might be transformed by it.

The idea behind giving things up for Lent is: if we are able to say no to things that we could legitimately enjoy, we strengthen our wills to reject temptation when it comes along.

When we give things up for Lent, we should give up something that will really challenge us.  We should make sure that it is something that we will actually be able to do without for forty days.  Sometimes the temptation can be to take on too much and then we can become discouraged because we cannot bear the burden that we have placed upon ourselves and end up not doing anything.  We need to avoid that extreme, but we also need to avoid being too easy on ourselves.  In order to really exercise my will, I need to give up something that will really be a sacrifice.

As I mentioned before, Lent isn’t only about giving things up, we can also take on extra spiritual practices.  There are many devotions that can help us to meditate upon the Passion of Our Lord.  Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are all beautiful devotions that can help us meditate upon all that Our Lord suffered in order to save us from sin and death.  Again, it is important not to overload ourselves, lest we become discouraged; yet Lent is a time when we make that extra effort to draw closer to Christ.

May this Lent be a time of great grace and spiritual renewal for our entire parish family!

God bless,

Father White