News and Schedules - From the Pastor
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How can we "turn back" to our Lord, with all our heart. Our desire in this Lenten journey is greater freedom - freedom to cooperate with, to respond to God's grace. The "work" of Lent is to discover where and in what concrete ways I'm not cooperating - where and when I'm resisting the gift that God is giving me in Jesus. When I don't want to honor our God, or when I am aggressive or covetous (desiring what is not mine or what is not good for me), then I'm out of balance and I can be quite closed to the love God wants to give me.
Lent is for freedom - freedom to make my heart like his. It is about freedom to give my life away. It is the process of practicing habits of thinking about the needs of others, before going after my needs first.
So, at the end of this forty day journey, the goal is not how many sacrifices I made, but how free I have become. We'll know this tree by its fruit. Who in my family is sensing that I'm less angry or selfish? Who senses I'm softer and more compassionate? Who would say that I'm seeming to be more generous and self-sacrificing? What is different in my behavior, and shows how I've cooperated with grace? What is going to last?
What am I doing with the remaining weeks of Lent? Whatever will help these kinds of graces grow in me. Asking for them with deeper and deeper desiring. Finding ways to say "no" to past habits and to practice new ones. Giving thanks and praise when the grace comes. Feeling and celebrating how freedom and fidelity to the law of the Lord brings the gift of life.