We have entered once again into our Lenten journey. These forty days are meant to help us step back from our busy lives and reflect upon our relationship with God; where am I in union with God, where do I need to improve. Those of us who have been through a few Lenten seasons may occasionally grow weary of this season but it should be a joyful time because we are seeking the Lord more fully. The young among us may wonder what this time in the Church is all about.       Baptism is the overarching theme of Lent. Why? Because baptism cleanses us from the original sin we are born with. We are enlightened and become children of God, brought into His Church. We are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His Divine Life which makes it possible to live holy lives; lives where we can overcome the temptations we face every day. Baptism begins our journey toward union with God. Lent is a period of purification and enlightenment like baptism.      In the Gospel reading today Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit was led into the desert where He would be tempted. He fasted during these forty days. We are led by the Holy Spirit as well. We will fast during this Lenten time to join with Jesus; to hunger for God rather than the things of this world. Now is the time to reflect upon our lives; how have I filled myself? Is it with the material, passing things of this world or do I seek the things that last?      Take time to do something out of the ordinary this Lent. Come to Eucharistic Adoration, devote 15 minutes a day to pray, read a good Catholic book, give time to help others, attend the Stations of the Cross or pray them on your own. Try to inspire growth in your faith and draw closer to God. Reflect upon the amazing gift God has given to us in Jesus. Ask yourself how can I open myself to God?      Several years ago I had a Lent that changed how I looked at this beautiful season and changed my faith life. I changed from a focus on “giving up” to one of faith growth. While the penitential aspects are important, growing closer to God is what this season should be about. If the absence of some particular food or pleasure helps you grow closer to God then stick with it. If you don’t find spiritual growth in that pursuit then fast and abstain when the Church requires and try some other way to get in touch with God. We’re all different, so do what works for you. But do something!
Have a blessed Lenten Season!

Deacon Ray

*Please keep in your prayers our second grade students who will be receiving their First Reconciliation on Wednesday! 


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