The season of Lent is a time for us to take stock of ourselves, a time to make a personal inventory of how we are responding to the call of the Lord to live a life of holiness as children of God. The forty days of Lent can be a time of great personal and spiritual growth if we take the time to work on our relationships with God and with one another.
I encourage you to make some personal decisions as to how you might grow in your faith and in your relationship to God during Lent. Some things to consider doing during Lent might be: going to daily Mass, spending some time each day in personal prayer, visiting the church and praying before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time as a family to reflect on Bible stories or readings, praying the Stations of the Cross, praying together as a family or as a couple, learning more about injustices in the world and what you can do to address them, reaching out to a person in need, visiting a housebound parishioner or neighbor. Pray about what you could do and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to discipline yourself to do it. You might find that the discipline of Lent will fill your lives with many blessings and your hearts with peace. To assist you in your daily prayer a devotional booklet, the Little Black Book is available at our churches. Also available are Magnificat booklets for the Lenten season
Operation Rice Bowl is once again our parish Lenten alms giving program. Operation Rice Bowl is a Lenten program of prayer, fasting, education and almsgiving. This Catholic Relief Services Lenten program helps people in developing countries to break the cycle of poverty by developing skills and means to provide for their families. Each Rice Bowl comes with a Lenten calendar with short reflections for each day of Lent. Educational and prayer materials are also available through the CRS web-site at www.crsricebowl.org and on Facebook and Twitter. It is suggested that you put the Rice Bowl on your dinner table at home and during Lent to set aside days to fast as a prayer sacrifice for the poor and hungry of the world. The money that you would normally pay for a full meal you are encouraged to put into the Rice Bowl as a sacrificial gift. If you give up items for Lent, such as candy, chocolate, desserts, movies, you are encouraged to give the money that you would spend on such items to the Rice Bowl. At the end of Lent the Rice Bowl donations will be collected. Catholic Relief Services will distribute 75% of the funds to address world hunger and 25% of the funds will come back to be used locally to help the various food cupboards in our region. Rice Bowls are available at each of our churches.
Please pray for the people this program assists and give your generous support.
Have a holy and a reflective Lent.
God Bless you, Father Bill