From the Pastor
Aren’t you glad that the season of Lent is no longer about the reconciliation of public penitents? Our church would be empty, save for the babies, for, I presume, we would all be expelled to go and do our forty days of penance until we would be readmitted to the Sacraments on Holy Thursday.
Nonetheless, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of Matthew, instructs us to give alms, to pray and to fast, but in private – aware that God knows and sees what we do and will reward or enrich us for the good of our lives, and thus the good of all around us and beyond.
So, you don’t have to tell what you are doing or giving up this Lent. The One who gives you the grace of awakening to your sinfulness also knows and sees what you are doing about it and will forgive and heal you, and strengthen you to love. And all will know that you are a Christian, a Catholic by your living – your love; your charity.
Here is a gem from St. Peter Chrysologus: “Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. They cannot be separated. If you have only one of them or not all together, you have nothing. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, then hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself. When you eat, see the fasting of others. If you want God to know that you are hungry, know that another is hungry. If you hope for mercy, show mercy yourself. If you look for kindness, show kindness yourself. If you want to receive, give. If you ask for yourself what you deny to others, your asking is a mockery.”
Our patron saint, St. John XXIII wrote: “The ten commandments remain in all their original authority, deeply engraved on all men’s hearts. Moreover we have the commandment of charity, taught us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and we must imitate Him in patient acceptance of suffering. He, the Just Man, the God-Man, the Sinless One, took upon Himself to suffer, and by so doing to atone for all the sins of the world; and He invites us too to endure with patience all adversities and hardships, as reparation for our sins and for those of others.”