Our Lenten Pilgrimage
This Wednesday, we observe our official beginning of Lent with a day of fasting and penance called Ash Wednesday. While we may look upon this day as beginning of a difficult season, truly this season is an opportunity for real and lasting spiritual renewal—a springtime of sorts.
The word Lent comes from the Latin word for “spring.” In our faith, Lent is a season of spring. Just as the season of spring in nature draws us into new life, so Lent is a spiritual springtime, leading us to the new life of Easter Sunday, when Jesus rose from the dead, giving new life.
That we might flourish in this “springtime,” we embrace spiritual practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We can do each of these practices in keeping with our own level of piety. We may simply give up something during Lent or take on a new work of charity; we may want to dedicate days to fasting, etc. We are also able to follow these practices through the life of our parish and the prayers, devotions, and spiritual practices that are offered. Here are some ways that we can make this season truly a “springtime:”
Daily Mass: The Mass is our greatest act of religious faith. Mass is offered each day at 8:00 am, as well as on Thursdays at 5:30 pm. While not all can attend this daily Mass (because of work, etc.) those who are able to attend Mass during the week are encouraged to see this season as a new opportunity to turn directly to our Eucharistic Lord for grace at daily Mass.
Stations of the Cross: On Friday evenings we will offer this popular devotion,
beginning at 7:00 pm. All are invited to pray this very meaningful devotion, following the footsteps of Jesus on His way of the cross, entering more deeply into His love for us, while finding greater meaning in the suffering that is seen in our own lives—so as to hope for the future resurrection.
Confession: In addition to the regular confession schedule (Wednesdays beginning at 6:45 pm, Fridays beginning at 8:35 am, and Saturdays beginning at 3:30 pm) there will be several additional opportunities for this beautiful sacrament in the days ahead, especially during the last two weeks of Lent. Through confession, we are renewed in our relationship with God and truly made ready for the glory of heaven, experienced in a real way on Easter Sunday. Please stay tuned for further information on extra confession times.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: As a way of committing oneself more completely to Christ, all are encouraged in a special way during Lent to take advantage of the Eucharistic Adoration, offered each Friday beginning after 8:00 am Mass until 5:00 pm during Lent. Through this time with our Lord, our prayer intentions to be renewed in this season can be offered in a very special way to Jesus, who is our true source of life and renewal.
These are just some of the opportunities we have in this Lenten season for renewal. As we approach Ash Wednesday, we can commit to making this Lenten
season a pilgrimage of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving so as to be renewed in our relationship with He who is truly our source of life—Jesus Christ, who died and rose from the dead.