Lenten Pastoral Message
"Liberate our senses from killing passions, setting over them as a benevolent sovereign our inner reason. Let the eye be averted from evil sight, and the ear be deaf to idle talk. May the tongue be purged of unseemly speech. Purify our lips that praise You, Lord. Make our hands abstain from wicked deeds, doing only things pleasing to You, sealing with Your grace all our members, and our mind."
Prayer from the Presanctified Liturgy
Having entered our Lenten Journey, let’s ask the question, what can I get out of this and how do I do it? Clearly, fasting from certain foods in and of itself is simply a diet, we can do that anytime. In fact, Intermittent Fasting has become a new trend or fad, lately, which has gained a great deal of support. However, understanding that fasting is an opportunity to discipline ourselves, takes our spiritual walk to a new level. As the benefits of fasting are becoming more popular, let us consider that fasting during lent, coupled with prayer and attending multiple services during the week, will help us find that spiritual connection with our Lord we have been searching for.
There is another benefit to the practice of fasting. By fasting from something, we consume less, which also means we spend less. Lent must then cause us to respond positively to the Gospel by taking more of our resources and storing up treasures in heaven rather than building up treasures on earth. What greater way to store up treasures in heaven than to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and help those in need. That is our faith in action; that is almsgiving.
Finally, limiting our social & work calendars during lent gives us the opportunity to fill that time with the three pillars of our Lenten Journey I reflected on above:
fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.
Let us follow the example of our Lord who fasted 40 days, my friends. Fasting humbles the body, cleanses the mind and strengthens our heart to focus on things that are eternal as we become imitators of Christ, today.
I remain, with brotherly love and pastoral blessings,