As one opens the first page of last Sunday’s St. Louis Review, there appears a two-page spread on how to make a good Lent. Even if we have made this forty-day journey for decades, there is always something new to be discovered about ourselves in relationship to God and others. Here on these two pages are some excellent practical suggestions how both individuals and families might approach the season. It is always edifying to me to see so many who make the commitment to attend daily Mass during the season. Like Advent, the daily scripture readings are specially chosen and tailored to this penitential and reflective season. It is always good to orient one’s day with morning Mass, but even more appropriate during Lent. And even if one can’t quite swing that, a driver on his way to work can turn off the radio for a few minutes and invite God into his or her day. Parishioners should be reminded that every week we have all-day, all-night adoration of the Eucharist, from the end of Mass on Tuesday morning until 6:00 am on Wednesday. Just stopping in for a few moments of silent prayer can be a way of restoring peace to our hearts.
There are any number of almsgiving opportunities available to us: The parish’s Haiti Giving Tree, the Rice Bowl or the St. Vincent de Paul Society. We have placed at the doors of church two booklets that parishioners might find helpful for observing the season: Getting More Out of Prayer and Daily Reflections for Lent. In addition to these physical books, there is a host of online/apps resources: www.livingtheeucharist.org, the Magnificat Lenten app, daily reflections from Bishop Robert Barron at his website, as well as the USCCB website. Perhaps you didn’t get the opportunity to receive ashes last Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean the season is lost; each one of these days of Lent is a good time to begin again.