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From the Pastor's Pen - March 3

My friends at a city parish told me last Sunday that their pastor reminded them to start thinking about practices they would do for Lent. At that time, he said, Lent was 10 days away.

Well now it’s 3 days away ( if you count from Ash Wednesday) So it’s definitely time to make some plan, so you don’t get into the first week of Lent and are playing catch-up. I really encourage you this year, perhaps, to start with something positive. Of the traditional Lenten practices, two are positives: first, Prayer--the simpler, the better; instead of continually talking to God, can you quietly listen for awhile? We’ll offer some helps for this. And secondly, Almsgiving, charity to the poor. We have so many opportunities for that, in our own neighborhood and around the world.

So what many think of as “what are you doing for Lent”—meaning What are you giving up—can come out of this. To pray, takes a few minutes out of your schedule you’d be doing something else; or, it can mean sacrificing the usual prayers and practices you do, to listen to God. There’s a Lenten sacrifice. To give alms, to help others financially, takes something out of our own budget. You might calculate out a rough weekly budget, and save some up front for charity. Another Lenten sacrifice.

Starting with the positive makes Lent a real renewal of life with God, and with one another. And when you fast, make sure you also fast from harsh words, neglect, insensitivity, or carelessness in words or actions. This year, I’m happy to present an Evening of Recollection on Wed. March 13, 7-8:15 in church. We’ll look at Dying with Christ and Rising with Christ from the writings of St. Paul.

We’ll also have Friday Stations, many led by different parish groups with specific prayers, ending with our Youth Group Living Stations on April 12. Lots of opportunity for a renewal of your life!

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