Welcome to the Lenten season! Ash Wednesday is the official beginning to this season in which we are called to observe the traditional pillars of the Lenten journey; they are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. I’d like to offer a couple of practical suggestions for each, as a way to better engage this very short pilgrimage to Easter.
Prayer is sometimes daunting and overwhelming, even as much as we desire to pray more or better, it’s elusive and can lead to frustration. I might suggest daily mass and Stations of the Cross as a way to enter into the mystery of prayer. The mass is the best prayer of the church; it’s familiar and isn’t that difficult to try and make daily mass once or twice a week. The Stations of the Cross offer us a pattern; we’re able to walk and watch Jesus as he makes his way to the cross, but we’re reminded that it doesn’t end at the cross. We’re invited to walk with Jesus to the glory of His resurrection on Easter Sunday. I’ll talk about almsgiving and fasting next weekend.
Please keep me in your prayers. I’ll be leaving on Thursday, March 2, for a week long discernment retreat at the formation house that’s housed very near Villanova. I’ll be joining the others who will form the novitiate class that officially begins on August 15, 2017. I’ll be joining the Midwest province, which is named after Our Mother of Good Counsel.
Msgr. John Anderson is offering a six week Lenten series that will follow the Friday Stations of the Cross during the soup supper. If you’re able please plan on attending the series; I’m sure that he’ll offer a great perspective on the ministry of Jesus.