Praised Be Jesus Christ!
And so we begin another Lent. Lent is that special time of year when we examine our relationship with Jesus and ask Him how He would like us to grow closer to Him through this very blessed season. This is what you must remember - Lent is about a relationship with Jesus Christ - not just about giving things up! We have a chance to be with Jesus these next 40 days and to allow Him to transform us into Himself through our prayer, fasting, and alms giving. This transformation must involve our being crucified with Jesus, so that we may rise with Him when we celebrate Easter. So, what is Jesus calling YOU to do for Him this Lenten Season?
As I have said, the three traditional practices of Lent are fasting, alms giving. and prayer. I would encourage you to do something in each of these areas.
Most people give up something they like. You know -- chocolate, pop, etc. And that is OK, but it is not enough. I think I can hear Jesus saying sometimes: "I gave up my life for them, and they give up chocolate for Me!" When it comes to fasting, we need to look at where our sins are, and then give up something that will help us deal with that sin. For instance, let us say that we are lazy and that we waste a lot of time watching TV instead of doing what we need to be doing -- then give up TV. You get the picture. Fasting should help us to die to self and sin, so that we can live more fully for God and others.
In regard to alms giving, this is something that we should be doing all year, but most especially during Lent. This means taking care of the poor. This would be a great time to adopt a Third World child, through one of the many agencies that do offer this. Or you can give to a local food bank or other charity that helps the poor.
The next practice must be the most important one, and that is prayer. We need to be people of prayer! You can decide to read the Bible every day, go to daily Mass, say the rosary, or say the Divine Mercy Chaplet. However, God is calling you to grow in intimacy with Him through prayer; DO IT! Just make sure you take time to LISTEN more than talk - - more than anything, this is what God calls us to do this Lent!
So pray about what Jesus wants YOU to do, and then, "Do whatever He tells you!"
At the end of his message Father Larry said that one the most important comments he gets from people is, "Father, I pray for you every day." There is nothing that means more to him! I ask you to include praying for Father Larry, The Reason for Our Hope Foundation, and our ministry in your Lenten prayers. Please know that Father Larry prays for you daily!
- Caitlin Ryan, Marketing/Operations Manager: The Reason for Our Hope Foundation