After the shortest Advent possible, we now have a very early Lent and Easter! Ash Wednesday is this coming Wednesday, February 14th! I hope you are ready! In just a few days we begin the beautiful penitential season of Lent in which we remind ourselves of the need we have for a Savior and prepare ourselves to celebrate the glorious Paschal Mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
What will you be doing to prepare? Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving is a great way to enter into this Season and form good habits in our spiritual exercises strengthening our faith, hope, and love. Increasing our prayer time by meditating on Sacred Scripture, daily praying the rosary and meditating on the mysteries, committing to come to Mass a few times during the week along with Sunday are a few ideas for Prayer to strengthen our faith.
Fasting helps strengthen our hope. When we fast or abstain from something good, it makes us more dependent on God or others. Fasting is not a diet plan (though I see a lot of people using that as a weight loss program). When we engage the practice of fasting as Christians, it becomes a prayer and dependence on God. We crucify our flesh, take up our cross, and follow the Lord. Our hope is increased and it becomes more a pillar of our life.
Almsgiving strengthens our love, our charity. Acts of service and works of charity set our eyes on caring for others and being a servant, being Jesus to others. We do this through increased monetary giving or increased service time. Serving our brothers and sisters in our parish community is a great way to deepen our charity and be more like Christ. We do not need to go off and do wonderous and massive deeds! Let’s love our neighbor right next to us, the person the Lord puts right in front of us. What will you do this Lent to grow in Faith, Hope, and Charity?
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL
Last week we kicked off our 2024 Annual Catholic Appeal. Thank you for all who have contributed. I invite all those who have not yet made a gift, to participate in the building up of the Kingdom of God in our Diocese and assist in the Presence of Jesus being known and spread throughout our Diocese of Savannah! I look forward to meeting our goal once again this year!
May the Lord Jesus bless you and your families abundantly this week!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin