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Pastor's Column

Lent is Our Opportunity

Pastor’s Column

1st Sunday of Lent

March 6, 2022

Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Lent is our great opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to work a spiritual reset within us. Each human being is a union of body and soul. During our lives on earth, God gives each of us free will so that we can exercise choices. While we live, each day, but especially during Lent, we are now in the process of choosing our eternal destiny and the degree to which we will enjoy the glory of God forever in heaven. So much of this wonderful future may depend on our response to Christ during these six weeks of Lent this year. Will I recognize my opportunity when God gives it to me?

One thing that I remember from being a Benedictine novice was that the rule of St. Benedict suggested each monk should have a reminder of their mortality in their room. Many of the monks of that day actually had a real skull in their cell that they looked at. Most of us would not go that far, but if we but realized how important the choices we will make at Lent are, we would use Lent more effectively.

Many in our society pay more attention to bodily health than their souls–so careful about water, calories, nutrition and so on. And yet, so many focus only on this present body while neglecting the soul which will live forever. Although this may be because we can’t see our soul, the reality is that many others can see what we need to work on spiritually by our actions (and reactions!), and so can God. What is the state of my soul before God? Do I pay enough attention to it? What can I do to improve and make healthier my spiritual self? Now is the time to thoroughly examine the choices we make daily—is this action or word for God or against God?

How is my prayer life? If I’m not talking to the Lord on a regular basis, my relationship with him will not grow. Am I a charitable person? What kind of language do I use about people I don’t like? Am I a person who nurses grudges? Is there somebody in my life I need to forgive? One day I will see the Lord face-to-face, and on that day I will want him to forgive me, and he has told us that that will depend on how we forgive others.

Is something out of balance in my life? Perhaps my health is not good? But if I put God first, everything else will begin to fall into place. Our Lord knows if we are trying! There are times that all we can do is pay pennies on the dollar, but Christ accepts that offering and he will multiply it. The little sacrifices that we make now for Lent may be a beachhead to an entirely new way of life. Is there some addiction I need to get rid of? Am I spending too much time on the computer or cell phone and not enough with the Lord or my family or my church? Lord, help me not to miss my opportunities when you send them to me, especially this Lent. Amen.

Father Gary


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