"For to me life is Christ and death is gain" (Phil 1:21)

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Prepare Yourself for Lent

In a week and a half we will already be at Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent! We can take time now to consider what to begin to do or what to give up in order to become holier and closer to our Lord. What’s more important is to do something extra for the Lord by way of prayerful rou- tines.

This means maybe one of the following:

  •  Spend an hour praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the church.

  •  Weekly offer some sacrifice for the Pope, our Bishop or perhaps, your parish priest.

  •  Give away some of your belongings at the beginning of Lent.

  •  Go to Confession.

  •  Point out another’s virtue to them (e.g. if they did something good without being asked).

  •  Clean up someone else’s mess and say nothing about it.

  •  Fast from television, YouTube, Facebook or some other amusement.

  •  Offer your day for someone who has fallen away from the faith.

  •  Pray the Rosary with the intention to renew your Marian devotion.

  •  Pray the Stations of the Cross weekly.

  •  Go to one daily Mass per week.

    The practices that we adopt must be structured by the season, which is understood in our Catholic tradition as a spiritual retreat. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI describes this saying that it is, “...a Lenten journey animated by a more in- tense spirit of prayer, of reflection, of penance, and of fasting. We enter into a strong liturgical season, which . . . prepares us for the celebration of Easter, the heart and center of the liturgical year and of our entire existence . . .

    The invitation of Jesus to take up one’s cross and follow him at first glance can seem to be harsh and contrary to much of what we want, something that puts to death our desire for personal fulfillment. But as we take a closer look at it, we can discover that it is not true. The testimony of the saints shows that in the Cross of Christ, in self-giving love, in the renunciation of the possession of one’s self, one finds that profound peace that is the source of generous dedication to one’s brothers and sisters, especially to the poor and needy. This gives us joy.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Ash Wednesday, 2008).

    To prepare for this upcoming Lent, let us ask Jesus in our prayer what we can do for our family and personal prac- tices, which will renew and refocus our hearts upon the one who is Love. We were made for him, who is Eternal Joy and Perfect Happiness.

    God bless you!

    In Christ,

    Fr. Anthony