Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Joy of Lent

Dear Parishioners,

Blessings to you in this Lenten season. Every year we reach this time when we pay extra attention to our everyday behavior in hopes to change something for the good. On Friday’s we freely choose to refrain from eating meat. Some may also make a special effort to attend daily Mass. You may choose to go to our simple the Stations of the Cross each Friday evening. Others may be part of a faith sharing group

In a way, some find the Lenten season to be dreary. However, I would like to suggest that Lent can be a time for joy. How? This can be done in many ways. One such way is to simplify. Another? Consider slowing down. Here’s more... Choose not to clutter your day with so much activity. Increase your time in prayer. Commit to a time for prayer or reading of the Scriptures. Take time to sit and observe the beauty right outside your house. Make a list of things for which you are thankful, making sure you write one thing on the list each day. Make an extra effort to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. How about being mindful of the size of portions of food you eat and consider reducing some portion in solidarity with the poor? These ideas can confront those things that get in our way of true deep joy. You see, we live in a world of abundance, but are often blind to it. If we could only see how God blesses us, we would become even more thankful. Thankfulness is a result of joy.

These are just some ideas for you. If you’d like to ponder on more ideas, I’ve written a list of 101 spiritual acts that has grown well beyond 101. Unfortunately, there is not enough room to list them here, so I've placed them on a separate page for you to peruse. Click here to read them. Not all the ideas therein will connect with every person. In fact, some may seem rather odd. But, let us remember that not everyone is the same.

May this Lent bring you a deep joy like nothing you have ever experienced. May this joy which comes from our Lord enliven your faith and strengthen your hope. May this joy beget a greater sense of thankfulness for all the things God has given us. May we all remember how abundant God’s love is for each one of us!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor

2 comments:

Carolyn said...

Fr. Bill,

I have felt very blessed while listening to past episodes of your podcast during my drive to and from school the past few weeks. I live in Arkansas and was excited to find your podcast. Thank you!!!

Fr. William Holtzinger said...

You are very welcome. I hope that I can continue to spread the Gospel and help change lives.