Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Wednesday, we begin the season of Lent. Masses on Ash Wednesday are at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart and 6:00 p.m. at St. John the Baptist. Although Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation it is an important day to observe as we begin the penitential season of Lent. When we receive ashes on our foreheads, we are reminded of the brevity of our lives here on earth. The reality is one day we will leave this earth behind with all of its pains and pleasures and hopefully enter the eternal kingdom of heaven with God, the angels and saints. Therefore, Lent reminds us to focus on this reality of our live. This means we must let go of our attachments to this world and focus on our spiritual life. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are the three practical ways of doing this. Fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the beginning and ending of this penitential season, is a requirement for those in the Church, ages 18 to 59. Fasting would mean only taking one meal on these days. Food, not adding up to more than a meal, can be taken at two other times during the day. Abstaining from meat is also required for all Catholics age 14 and older on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all Fridays of Lent. When we submit to what the Church asks of us out of humility, we unite ourselves to one another. None of us is on our own in this journey. The life of faith is a benefit to our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we do these corporate acts of penance, we are caught up in God’s plan of salvation for all people, not just ourselves. We can also do individual works of penance as well. I know some people give up sweets or alcohol, forgo watching television or other forms of media. The idea is to lesson our attachments to these passing things and attach ourselves more to God whose gives and sustains our very existence. Let us encourage each other this Lent, growing closer to God.
Have a blessed season.
Administrator Pro Tem