Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Saint Paul tells us that “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31) A simple enough statement, but a difficult challenge to follow. In a few days we begin the penitential season of Lent, a period of time to reflect upon how we give glory to God and look at both sides of our relationship with God, where we do well and where we need improvement. Similarly, it is time to reflect on how we witness the glory of God to others.
This season of Lent is another opportunity to grow in our understanding of how we can best give glory and praise. Let us first look at areas of our spiritual life where we do well. Not to give in to pride, but rather to reflect upon how our hearts are open to the promptings of the Spirit and how we experience God’s abiding grace. Maybe you are a person that has refrained from coming to public Mass during the pandemic. So, over this past year you had to embrace the unique spiritual communion of the virtual Mass experience. Maybe you have become more attentive to the word that is proclaimed and the prayers that are offered. Overcoming the “at home distractions”, you now can enter this experience with great joy and praise. The spirit is active in your participation in giving glory to God.
The general themes of prayer, fasting, and alms giving usually guide our Lenten practices of self-denial and spiritual renewal. As we reflect upon areas of our lives that need improvement, let us not jump to the “big” ones right away. Let us start with our everyday routines. How can I improve giving glory to God with my family, coworkers, and neighbors? It’s possible that by starting here we will build the confidence to tackle the larger spiritual battles that may initially seem so daunting.
Remember that there are many resources available for embracing this beautiful season of renewal. The parish website has information regarding Ash Wednesday and other Lenten practices. There is also a link to FORMED, a free source of movies, studies, and e-books to help journey through these Lenten days.
Next week is the annual diocesan Catholic Charities appeal. As one can imagine, the pandemic has made it challenging to fundraise for such an important outreach to the physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters. Please prayerfully consider your support of Catholic Charities. Many have likely already received a request through the mail. If not, envelopes will be available at the church or through the parish office. If you decide to drop off your own supporting envelope, please clearly mark it for its intended use, i.e. “Catholic Charities Appeal.”
Please keep in your prayers our Confirmation students who will receive the sacrament on Monday, February 15. Also, throughout this month, pray for our second graders who will have the opportunity to receive First Reconciliation. These two beautiful sacraments bring individuals and the entire church the gift of grace from God and hope in his glory.