From the Pastor's Pen - First Week in Lent
Lent should be at least a little bit of a struggle. There’s nothing inherently valuable about suffering. But when done intentionally, to become something else, some amount of discomfort or unease will occur. What makes the struggle valuable is what we become.
That’s Lent. In fact, the word “Lent” is an old English word for Springtime. Because it’s the time when the sun, the winds, even the moon, work together to warm the earth and bring out life. At the school Mass on Ash Wednesday, I had the kids scrunch themselves up into a little ball, like a seed, and then slowly unfold into their full stature. That’s the process we go through during Lent.
“Giving things up” has no value in itself. But if making a few choices to not be so automatic about food,
diversions, or “passing time” instead of doing something valuable with it, can open us to focus on more
satisfying things, then some “giving up” is worthwhile. Even some of our spiritual practices, reading our
favorite formulas or prayers already written, can become automatic. We can spend time just offering our hearts to God, letting him speak to us. This too takes some letting go, and suffering to grow into new territory.
The 1st Sunday of Lent, we see Jesus in the desert tempted by—and overcoming—usual human distractions: satisfaction, recognition, respect. He sought instead to be in complete union with his Father. He leads us through an exemplary human life into the fullness of His Father’s kingdom. He accepted his suffering as part of this great fullness. We can journey with Him for 40 days now, and grow to become more loving, more devoted, more secure in God.
In this bulletin, you’ll see a special offer to grow this Lent. A new committee on Adult Education is
researching ways that growth in faith is being offered through today’s electronic means. If you are on our parish e-mail list (join anytime at https://strpd.flocknote.com/wordonfire), you can access, for free, very valuable presentations by top quality Catholic speakers. If you haven’t yet, just add your e-mail address or contact the parish office and we will take care of it for you. I’ll refer to this a couple of more times this Lent.