Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent: Word of the Day - Distance

Our Ash Wednesday Mass and distribution of ashes was presided over by our bishop. Standing room only, it was a strong statement of commitment made by the people of our town. The customarily 30 minute noon/lunch Mass took almost an hour and a half, yet I didn't notice.

The beginning of Lent is usually like that for me - I get lost in the moment, inspired to take up this span of time in better service of Our Lord and His people. Some years, however, it begins to wear thin - sometimes quickly, sometimes half way in or toward the end. I pray for the grace to complete the race this year - it's a marathon, not a sprint. In realizing this, I hope to have the endurance to finish well.

During his homily, Bishop Medley reflected on two prominent words our Holy Father, Pope Francis seems to be bringing up most often. One of them is poverty. It's not just the material poverty of others, to whom we owe alms, it's the poverty we must take up when following Christ. Putting distance between ourselves and things of the world can be a very difficult thing to do. It may even seem impossible. Yet to strive for this distance, this poverty, is to live according to the teaching of Holy Mother Church.

We are often reminded we are in this world, not of this world. In order to find the motivation and longevity to endure through the Lenten Season, this will be a valuable theme. If we are able to distance ourselves from our wants, needs, temptations - we will find the poverty needed to die to self. This will be highly instrumental in our efforts to serve Our Lord and others on His behalf. In keeping with this purpose then, our ability to go the distance in our Lenten efforts relies on the distance we are able to put between ourselves and things of this world.

Happy 2nd day of Lent! May our journeys be fruitful!

Here are some useful links for your Lent:

Study the Gospel of Mark with Fr. Longnecker

Why I'm Not Leaving Facebook for Lent

Meatless Friday - 3 Ingredient Meal Your Family Will Love

I'd also like to share these Lenten devotional crafts for you and your family:

Stations of the Cross Craft

Easter Egg Rosary

My Lenten Journey