Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. Lent is a forty day liturgical season that represents the forty days that Jesus spent in fasting and prayer in the desert. It is a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter.
Our Goal during Lent
When we enter this season, our first instinct is to make sacrifices: we give up chocolate, or our morning cup of coffee. While this is certainly an important part of Lent, our main goal during this season is not to diminish ourselves but to grow and develop as people. Lent is a wonderful opportunity to bring more patience, joy, trust, and compassion into our lives. The sacrifices that we choose to make during Lent should be done with the purpose of making room in our hearts for these virtues.
The Three Basic Lenten Disciplines
Lent is a time to clear out some space in our lives so that God can enter and fill it, and a time to realize where God has always been. There are three basic Lenten disciplines that we can practice to help us with this. These disciplines are prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.
During this season, let us bring our minds, bodies, and souls together when we pray. We should make space to hear God’s voice; we can do this by praying in the absence of modern distractions. As Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
We are all called as Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, but fasting doesn’t always have to involve food. We can also fast from vices like anger, blame, and entitlement. We should rid our hearts of these negative habits, and allow ourselves to feast instead on the virtues of forgiveness, affirmation, and the common good.
We can connect our almsgiving to our fasting. For example, if we skip our daily coffee, we can donate the money we would’ve spent to a charity of our choice. In doing this, we can allow our own personal suffering to enrich the lives of others.
Let us make these three disciplines a part of our life every day this Lent. As said before, the goal of Lent is to grow and develop spiritually, and these disciplines will help us with that. They will guide us to becoming truly whole, as they will allow us to make room for the love of God in our hearts. We have a few upcoming events here at Holy Family Church that will allow us to involve ourselves more deeply in parish life during this Lenten season.
Wednesday, March 2nd, at 8:00am and 7:00pm
Please join us for Ash Wednesday Mass if you are able to this Lent. The ashes that are placed on our forehead represent the ultimate truth that we come from dust, and to dust we shall return. They are a call to practice humility.
Stations of the Cross
Every Wednesday beginning March 9th, at 7:00pm
Please join us for Stations of the Cross if you are able to this Lent. The Stations serve as a solemn reminder of how infinite God’s love is for us.
Sunday, March 13th, immediately following the 11:00am Mass
Please join us for Holy Hour and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus is present in the Eucharist in a true, real, and significant way, and we show Him our adoration during this time.
Lent is always a solemn time of reflection, in which we take a look at ourselves and see how we can be better Catholics. This can be a difficult task, but let us always remember the trials and tribulations of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the desert, and strive to emulate His perseverance. This Lent, let us all walk the same path that Jesus walked for forty days, and allow ourselves to be transformed by His unending love for us.
Yours in Christ,
8:00am & 7:00pm
Livestreaming Sundays at 9:00am, Ash Wednesday at 7:00pm, and all Holy Week Masses
Good Friday: 3:00pm
Easter Vigil: 7:00pm (No 4:00pm Mass)
Sunday: 8:30am & 10:30am
Immediately after 7:00pm Stations of the Cross
Anytime upon request
Good Friday: 7:00pm
Second Sunday of the month:
Holy Hour following the 11am Mass
Fridays: Following the 8:00am Mass