Lent 2015 Is Rapidly Approaching

lent 2015One week from today is Ash Wednesday. With the marking of our foreheads with ashes we will begin the Season of Lent. I urge you to make plans attend Mass next Wednesday – and invite a friend or neighbor to join you. At Saint John Bosco Mass will be celebrated on Ash Wednesday in the morning at 7:30 am, at 12:00 noon, and in the evening at 7:00 pm. If you are in the area you are most welcome to join us.

The 40 days of Lent are traditionally grounded in the Ash Wednesday imperative to pray, fast and give alms. In order to focus on those spiritual practices we need to lay down our “toys” – computers, smart phones, iPads, and the TV remote for a while. It is a time to reflect on our relationship with God and to do our best to deepen it. To do this will be a challenge because it means setting aside designated time each day for prayer, emptying ourselves of those things that push the Lord aside so that we can welcome Him back to the center of our lives, and parting with some of our money to share with those in need.

Baron Friedrich von Hugel, an influential spiritual writer and director, had a practice of spending fifteen minutes a day doing what he called “devotional reading.” We would do well during the days of Lent to nourish our souls by some type of “devotional reading.” This type of reading, traditionally referred to as “spiritual reading,” leads to intimacy with the Lord. If you aren’t already engaged in this practice – Lent would be a great time to begin!

Father Robert Baron from “Word on Fire” and Matthew Kelly from “Dynamic Catholic” are offering great opportunities for “devotional reading.” Both are willing to send a daily Lenten reflection directly to your email from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday. It’s FREE – so simply click on either name in this paragraph to register and receive the daily reflection.

I encourage you to take time this week to review the opportunities that are available to you at your parish throughout Lent. You can do that by carefully reading your parish bulletin. This week reflect on what you are going to do this year as you take that journey toward Easter. Make it something very intentional.  Then, put your answer down in writing – and be ready to begin the journey next Wednesday.

Just a reminder . . . Ash Wednesday is a day of abstinence from meat (and any meat based food) and a day of fasting. The law of fast allows a person to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may be eaten, but they should not equal one full meal. The law of abstinence binds all Catholics 14 years and older. The law of fasting binds all Catholics from their 18th birthday until their 59th birthday.

Question – How do you plan to engage in the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving this year?

 

February 11th, 2015 |