Hello My Young Friends,
In just two short weeks, we will be celebrating Ash Wednesday, which this year, falls on Feb. 14, the Feast of St. Valentine. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Season of Lent, a time of reflection and penance in preparation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.
Lent is very different from the Season of Advent, when we prepare to welcome the newborn Jesus on Christmas Day. Lent is a time we spend growing closer to God through prayer and penance. We begin on Ash Wednesday when we participate in a special service where ashes are applied to our forehead with the sign of the cross. The ashes are an outward symbol of penance and our desire to prepare ourselves to be better for the Risen Christ.
Lent is about a “conversion” to turn our lives over to Christ more completely. As we do this, we are asked to give up sin in some way in our lives. The goal is not to “give something up” during Lent, but rather to work toward the removal of sin from our lives forever.
When we really change, we leave behind our old way of doing things and act in a way that embraces a new life in Christ. You can give up soda or candy, or maybe even TV, but that may only last until Easter Sunday. Not fighting with your brother or sister, or arguing with your parents about doing a chore, are both good ways to make a permanent change within your heart.
Here are a few easy things you can do as a family in this Lenten Season to bring yourselves closer to God and to each other:
- Pray Together
- Volunteer together by giving up some of your time to the service of others.
- Fast Together. Fasting is a form of penance that helps us turn away from sin and draw us closer to Christ. Fasting as a family allows the family to support each other making it easier to understand and participate.
Lent provides a wonderful opportunity to become better for Jesus, the Risen Lord while together growing closer as a family, as you say no to sin. During this Lenten Season, I ask that you remember me in your prayers and know that you and your family are always in mine. May God bless you!