My Holy Rosary family,
The great and holy season of Lent is now upon us. As we begin our annual 40 day pilgrimage to the crucifixion and the empty tomb. These 40 days of Lent are an opportunity given to us for turning to God, for conversion. As we all know, the three pillars of Lent are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer, of course, strengthens our relationship with God. Fasting puts the focus on what is truly needed for our Christian discipleship and what distracts from it. Almsgiving helps us practice charity to become more aware of the needs of others. These three pillars help to prepare our hearts to recognize and receive anew the great graces made available to us through the Paschal Mystery: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Each of us have particular Lenten disciplines that are personally meaningful. I encourage you to embrace them; however, whether they are to “give something up” or to “add something on” we need to remind ourselves that what we chose to do for Lent is for a greater purpose. Don’t simply give up chocolate or coffee so you, (and everyone around you) is miserable, rather let’s make sure that through our Lenten disciplines we are being drawn ever closer to God, growing in our faith, and strengthening our commitment to following the way of Christ. A wonderful way to do that is by participating in our parish Lenten practices, for we are all making this journey together. There are many opportunities to meet our Lord during this time of Lent. Perhaps you might consider participating in Solemn Vespers on Sunday evenings, making time for daily Mass, the Stations of the Cross, or by donating food to our food pantry as part of your almsgiving. There are also many opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each week. At the end of Lent I encourage you to fully participate in our Holy Week services. Holy Week is an opportunity to re-enact, re-live, and participate in the events leading to the Passion of Christ. Please come for as many of the Holy Week services as you can.
My brothers and sisters, I pray for a holy, prayerful and fruitful Lenten journey for all of us.
Blessings in Christ!
Fr. Patrick Gallagher