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From the Pastor: March 2024





Dear Friends,

“Lent is the time when Christians dedicate themselves to the preparation for the celebration of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ. It is a time of penance, purification, and conversion.” You never know how God will speak to you in unexpected ways, and I got tuned into an unlikely source several years ago when I read The Da Vinci Code, which is a fun fictional novel that centers around church conspiracy theories. I got curious about the very real organization Opus Dei, which figures prominently in the novel, and looked them up, and they have a lot of light to offer. On their website (opusdei.org), their words about Lent from founder St. Josemaria Escriva are worth exploring. He mentions the importance of a person’s initial conversion which leads one into a commitment to God for the first time, but goes on:


Later conversions are even more important, and they are increasingly demanding. To facilitate the work of grace in these conversions, we need to keep our soul young; we have to call upon our Lord, know how to listen to him and, having found out what has gone wrong, know how to ask his pardon.


Well said. I love that phrase, “to facilitate the work of grace in these conversions.” How do we structure our Lenten journey of introspection? With what tools shall we equip ourselves? A Lenten fast? If so, from what? Perhaps, instead of giving things up for Lent, we ought to take things on, in the way of mission opportunities. In the Opus Dei, they link fasting, or “self-denial,” with spiritual action that shows forth the spirit of Christ. As part of their spiritual development, “they frequent the sacraments and give some time each day to prayer, spiritual reading and other acts of devotion. They try to practice Christian self-denial, especially in small things - at work, in family life, putting others first, paying attention to detail, and so on.”


Note the emphasis: especially in small things. It is in the small moments that we live our lives. Few of us can give our lives to monastic self-reflection, or leave our homes to go wash the feet of the needy in the third world. But what if, during the day-to-day smallness of our lives, we were to quietly practice self-denial, and live in little increments the love of Jesus Christ? Such would be a life of Lent. Preparing ourselves, and even, to an extent, those around us, for the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.



Let us have a small Lenten journey together, that we may experience a very large Easter.


Light and Love,

Martin

Yorumlar


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