Dear Friends in Christ,
Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday, and each one of us is called by the Lord Jesus to a deeper conversion as we prepare to celebrate the Passover of the Lord at Easter. During these 40 Days of fasting, prayer, and works of mercy, let us strive to live in fidelity to the promises of our Baptism, promises which we will renew at the Easter Vigil and at all the Masses of Easter Sunday. “Are you unaware,” Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, “that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4).
To live the new life of Baptism requires that we first die to sin and self and learn to live for Christ, and the disciplines of Lent are meant to help us in the lifelong work of living by grace through faith in the Son of God. Here are some of the practical ways we can do that in these 40 Days:
+ each Sunday in Lent come celebrate Vespers at 5 pm and bring a friend.
+ give alms by making a donation to Project Host on Academy Street through the poor boxes at the doors of the church or by writing a check to Catholic Charities at 204 Douthit Street; Greenville, SC 29601.
+ go to Confession on a Wednesday afternoon from 5 to 6 pm or a Saturday afternoon from 3.30 to 4.30 pm. Go early this Lent, and do not wait until Holy Week when the lines will be long.
+ attend Mass each Monday through Friday at 7 am throughout Lent.
+ push back from every meal before you’ve had enough. Be mindful of your body’s hunger for food and your soul’s hunger for the Lord, a hunger that is satisfied only when we give ourselves without reservation in obedience of faith to the Gospel.
+ invite a lapsed Catholic to return to the practice of the Faith by joining you at Mass one Sunday in Lent. A gentle invitation is often the only thing needed to bring a soul back to the Lord Jesus.
+ each Friday of Lent at 6 pm come walk the Way of the Cross and find the strength to heed the call of the Lord Jesus to take up your cross and follow him.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return. So repent, and believe in the Gospel.