Lent—the opportune time of year to offer things up, thereby surrendering them to God.  In this vein, we continue with our Surrender Novena Day 8.

      “Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of My grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in Me, believing in My goodness, and I promise you by My love that if you say, “You take care of it.” I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you, and guide you.”                        (After that prayer say 10 times) O Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything!

Lent is not just giving things up but perhaps taking things on that will help us grow in the faith and our discipleship of Jesus. I encourage you to participate in some of the activities coming up in the parish that can help connect us and build up that sense of community. Each Friday at noon we have the Stations of the Cross; a great Lenten prayer. Family Life has organized an afternoon of bowling, thanks for signing up ahead of time for this fun event. March 9th will be the 1st Communion retreat at St. Casimir. Please pray for our second graders and their families as they prepare their hearts for Jesus. The parish mission with Deacon Keith Strohm was also a time for us to step back from our daily routine and give a focused amount of time to the Lord. Missions or retreats can be a powerful event in our spiritual lives. Deacon Keith asked us the question “what do we have in the junk room of our hearts?” How will we make room for the love and mercy of our heavenly Father? His emphasis reminded us to trust and grow in our openness to what God is doing and wants to do with us.  Do we fully surrender and allow His offered grace?   He called us to look closely at our image and understanding of God and suffering in our lives. This is beautiful Lenten encouragement for us to reflect on moving forward.

 We are about halfway through Lent, so how is it going? Has it been a time of conversion or growth in your spiritual life? Have you followed through with what you planned to do? There is still time, each day is a new opportunity for us to start again. Some days are better than others. Knowing full well that we are not perfect, I encourage you to review the bulletin times for the communal penance services that will be held in our area in the coming weeks. Of course there is scheduled confession here each Saturday and Tuesday-Friday before the weekday Mass. May your Lent be one of growth in the spiritual life.  With an open heart, let the Lord lead you in your Lenten journey of healing and renewal.