Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It seems to have sneaked in upon us but we are now immersed in the penitential days of Holy Lent. The word “Lent”, itself has no spiritual significance since it derives from the Norse word for Spring. Nonetheless the genius of the Church has always been to adapt familiar customs from non-religious or even pagan and Christianize them to express truths of the Faith. So when we consider the notion of Spring/Lent it carries a deep spiritual significance as to how we employ this season. The days are welcoming a greater amount of natural light; the trees are straining to bring forth their buds; winter silence is broken by the chirping of birds; and, most especially, bitter cold is dismissed by warmth. Doesn’t it all make us feel better?
We read the signs of nature and it lifts our mood. What about reading the signs of the super-nature or supernatural and allowing it to lift our spirits? Lent indeed, is the time for personal and communal renewal In the life of the Church we are given many opportunities to allow new life to begin. And just as nature strains to bring forth new life we too need to make the effort for our lives to be renewed in Christ. Prayer, more intense, Fasting, with cheerful regard, and alms-giving, or works of charity, with utmost generosity, are the basic disciplines that assist us in making the effort.
Sundays which BELONG to God allow us to rest in Him. Primarily we worship at Holy Mass but also we can come with fellow parishioners and above all family to pray the Rosary at 3:30 and then sing the Divine Office of Vespers before the exposed Blessed Sacrament in St John’s Church starting at 4PM.
On Tuesdays we have our Scripture Study open to all. This year we shall be using the program: “From Genesis to Jesus” as developed by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Studies. Our previous programs were very well received. Please call the office to register for the course which begins on February 28th and continues through Lent and Eastertide.
And, of course, we have The Stations of the Cross offered on Fridays in three of our churches.
As you see there are many opportunities to have a real spiritual springtime this Lent preparing for the renewal of Faith at Easter.