Bishop Ricken

Bishop's Corner

The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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By | March 29, 2012

This is a very spiritual season, the season of Lent, when we strive to walk with Jesus Christ through the deserts of life in order to more appreciate the wonderful things he has done for us. It has been a time of more prayer, making more time for our friendship with Jesus Christ in our daily life and making sure we come to Mass on Sundays. It is a time of fasting from eating or overeating so that we can make more space within for God to have more room in our lives. It is a time of giving alms to the poor through the Rice Bowl collection or a time of being more engaged in acts of charity and loving kindness. In other words, it is a time of taking stock of how we are spending the time of our lives, which is so short.

It is also a time to return to the basics, to strive to free ourselves from distractions that keep us from getting to the main points of our lives.

n You and I are not here on this planet for no reason. Each of us has been created by God for a reason; each of us is part of his divine plan.

n Each of us who accepts Jesus Christ has been given the gift of salvation from sin and death. We have a savior and God poured himself out in order to become one of us in everything but sin. That self-gift was and is the gift of God’s own Son Jesus Christ, who died because he was madly in love with all of God’s children and died on the cross for that love.

n Death did not kill him. In fact, he transformed death into resurrection and victory, not just for himself, but for every human being who ever lived.

n He invites us to give up our sinful lives, which is in many ways a lifelong process, and to give ourselves to him through our membership in his church and through living out our relationship with others in the church and outside the church.

God is such a respecter of persons that he never forces anyone to take on his life. Yet true conversion and change of life is necessary for salvation. If we want to be beneficiaries of salvation and not spend our eternity in the place of absolute and infinite torture in hell, we have to say “yes” not just with our mouths, but with the way we live our daily lives.

I must urge each one of you, in a world that is totally preoccupied with itself, not to be overcome by the world. Do not neglect your spiritual life and journey. Return to the sacrament of reconciliation (confession), to regular attendance at Sunday Mass and a regular daily prayer life. Do not leave God out of your life as the forces of the world are pressuring you to do. Put God first for yourself and for your family and all else will fall in place in leading a simple and humble life which is pleasing to God.

If you have fallen away, return to church for Holy Week and Easter, which is your Easter duty as a Catholic member of the church. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and life more abundantly.” May his abundant life be your food and drink for the rest of your lives.

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