As we approach our annual Lenten journey, it might be too easy to become complacent and give up the “normal” things. All Catholic adults are expected to give up meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. Maybe each year, you also give up chocolate or dessert. But this year, let’s take extra care to choose something that will challenge us. And don’t just give something up — think of what you can add to make your Lent richer and more prayerful. Commit to making this Lent the best one yet so you can fully celebrate the joy of the Easter season.
Fr. Dustin Johns and Fr. Russ Kovash invite all parishioners to be part of the Wednesday Lenten prayer services. There will be extra opportunities for Reconciliation and a Lenten mission with Patty Schneier from March 3-5.
This Lent, Fr. Johns and Fr. Kovash ask us to consider how we might deny ourselves so we can experience a conversion of heart.
“I am huge on denying myself during Lent,”
Fr. Kovash says. “Jesus said, ‘Unless you deny yourself and take up your cross, you cannot be disciples.’”
Fr. Johns and Fr. Kovash have decided not to eat out during Lent. Fr. Johns also fasts each morning until lunch.
“There are lots of beautiful ways to deny ourselves during Lent,”’ Fr. Kovash says. “When we deny ourselves, it strengthens our resolve to say ‘no’ to sin.”
“We are called not only to abstain from luxuries during Lent, but to a true inner conversion of heart as we seek to follow Christ’s will more faithfully,” Fr. Johns adds. “We recall the waters of Baptism in which we were also baptized into Christ’s death, died to sin and evil and began a new life in Christ.”
Another key aspect of our Lenten journey is considering how we can give, whether through time, talent, or treasure. Fr. Johns suggests that we try to practice Corporal Works of Mercy — visit the sick and homeless, work at a soup kitchen, or give to the poor.
We can also take extra time this Lent to pray and read Scripture. These are essential practices to which we are called during Lent.
“By adding prayers, we increase our time with the Lord, which will deepen our relationship with Him,” Fr. Johns says. “One can discern better where the Lord is working in our lives.”
Fr. Johns and Fr. Kovash want all parishioners to experience their best Lent. Take time to reflect on what the Lord did for us and how we might be lacking, and then commit to do better.
“Most of all, let’s be grateful for all the things that the Lord has done for us, especially for salvation and Him leaving us His Church,” Fr. Johns says.
As we prepare for Holy Week and Easter, let’s commit to our Lenten observances and make this a prayerful Lent.