February 18, First Sunday in Lent
Today we begin our first week in Lent. As we follow our Lord in the desert, this liturgical season is meant to help us all to prepare for His glorious resurrection through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This year, as I have requested in the past, I ask you to consider the following ways to help prepare yourself for Easter.
Prayer: I would like to invite you all to make daily Mass a priority in your life. I realize that schedules can often be difficult to balance, but please try and make the attendance at daily Mass a priority. This Lent, following the daily Mass on Monday until 9:30pm and continuing on each Monday I will be offering Eucharistic Adoration in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. The sign-up sheets can be found in the southwest vestibule. Please consider signing up for an hour of adoration with the Lord during the season of Lent.
Fasting: This year I invite you all to consider turning off the technology we often rely on throughout the year and instead focusing our attention on the Lord. I know that it is very easy to simply watch TV… then check Facebook, send a few text messages, or listen to music on your iPad or MP3 player RATHER than listening to God. While technology is wonderful, it can often distract us from responding to God. This year consider fasting from technology and “tuning” into the call that God has given to each one of us.
Almsgiving: We have had our annual appeal for Catholic Charities and I thank you all for your generosity; however, the almsgiving I am suggesting this year is not monetary. The almsgiving I hope you will offer this year is time—yes, I am asking all of you to give back some time to the Church. What better way to do this than to take the time to examine your conscience, prepare your heart, and participate in the Diocese of Cleveland’s annual Evening of Confession which is being held on Wednesday, February 28. Due to the numbers of penitents that we have had in the past, (and are expected to have again this year), I am offering an afternoon session along with the evening session. Our afternoon session will begin at 1:00 pm and conclude at 3:00 and the evening session will be from 5:00-8:00 pm. This time of renewal is a time of grace for us all and I pray that we will make time to take advantage of the sacrament prior to Easter.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,