Lent should be different than the rest of the Church year. It should be set aside not only by the Church, but also by the people as a spiritual time to prepare for the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. This is the whole reason Christ came to earth. It is through His dying that our Redemption is found, and it is in His rising that we rise to be with Him in His Father’s Kingdom. It is not too late to make this Lent different, but we need to start now if we haven’t already done so. It would not hurt anyone to give up something we like. It would not hurt anyone to read a little each day in the Bible, or to spend a little extra time in prayer, or to do something for an elderly neighbor. The list of opportunities to do something spiritually or to help others could go on forever. The important thing is that we DO SOMETHING.
Lent is the season to walk with Christ on the road to Jerusalem and ultimately to Calvary. That is why we pray the Stations of the Cross together every Friday during Lent at 7 pm. If we find them boring, perhaps we need to meditate upon the cross. To walk the Stations of the Cross is to remind us just how much Jesus went through those last hours on earth. Jesus the Son of God who created everything allowed humans to beat Him, kick Him, spit upon Him, force Him to carry a cross and then to die upon that cross. The Stations of the Cross are a visible reminder of Jesus’ love for us. However, if we do not sing, pray out loud, or take any kind of active role in the Stations, or any other liturgical prayer form, it’s like going to a ball game of your favorite team and never yelling, clapping, or cheering, and when the game is over, getting up and walking out. The game would be boring. Whether we lose sight of prayer and the purpose behind it or get lost in a class we may be taking, it will become boring. If we find liturgical prayer boring, then we need to reflect upon how we responded while we were at that particular liturgy.
During the Lenten Season we find the parishes scheduling Reconciliation Services where more than the priest of the parish is present to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many people find the Sacrament hard to celebrate, because it is hard to admit to another person our faults and failings. But most people including myself feel refreshed and uplifted after celebrating the Sacrament. I invite everyone to our St. Agnes Penance Service this coming Tuesday March 19 at 7 pm.