Beginning Lent

A blessed and grace-filled Lenten season to all our readers, beginning with this solemn commemoration of Ash Wednesday to launch us on our way through our own ‘forty days’ in the metaphorical desert.

There are no end to the resources to help us in our greater focus on the three ‘acts of religion’ – fasting, almsgiving and prayer – by which we ‘bind’ ourselves to God more closely and intensely, with our bodies, our external goods and our very minds and wills. One recommended to me was this on-line retreat with the Carmelites.

But we should begin with Mass, daily if possible,  the highest and most effective ‘prayer’ of the Church; but also meditation; prayerful reading of Scripture, especially the readings for Mass; praying some of the Divine Office with the universal Church; walking the Stations of the Cross; reciting the holy Rosary; reading classic spiritual treatises; the sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Then there all the works of mercy: more diligence in our daily duties; more time with family; teaching those ‘ignorant’ of the truth; visiting the lonely and neglected, the sick in hospital and the elderly in nursing homes; striving to learn more of our faith and to witness more faithfully and courageously to witness to its truth in an increasingly secular world.

Although this is but the beginning, any of these is a good place to start and build from there. God does not stint with those who are generous, and to those who seek His will, He will show His salvation.

Oremus pro invicem semper!