The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.
How can we be holy? The season of Lent, which begins this Wednesday, is the perfect opportunity to grow in holiness. Every year the Church leads us through this period of Lent as a time of purification. The goal is to embrace prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as ways to help us grow in holiness. We all have attachments to things of the world that can distract us from keeping our eyes on Jesus. Lent is a time to be purged of these attachments so that we can focus more on our relationship with the Lord and with one another.
The best way to grow in holiness is to recognize when we sin against God and one another and to ask for forgiveness. We all have sins in our lives that affect our relationship with God and one another. Holiness is not being absolutely perfect. Only God is absolutely perfect. Holiness is recognizing that we sometimes fail to love God and neighbor and, when we do fail, we humbly ask for forgiveness from God and from our neighbors whom we have hurt by our sins. The mercy of God can never be exhausted, and this mercy frees us from bondage to sin and death.
This freedom from sin opens us up to turn our gaze back to Jesus. Lent is an opportunity to encounter Jesus more personally. We can never know him and love him enough.
In addition to fasting and almsgiving, I invite all of us to increase our time in daily prayer and study of the Sacred Scriptures. Here at St. Scholastica, we will be opening the chapel daily Tuesday through Saturday at 6 am for prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. This time of solitude with Jesus is a great opportunity to get away from the busyness and noise of the world. God wants to speak to us through His Word. Take time daily to meditate on Sacred Scripture.
In addition to spending time in silent prayer, we will also have the opportunity to pray the Liturgy of the Hours together daily at 7:40 am before the 8 am Mass. I will also be offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily after the 8 am Mass as well as Saturday evening at 3:45 pm and Sunday morning at 9:15 am.
Finally, free copies of The Word Among Us are available for you to take home. This booklet includes the daily Mass readings as well as other helpful prayers and meditations. Please take one and make use of it during this season of Lent.
Friends, as we enter into this season of Lent, let us intercede for each other’s needs in our daily prayers to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Jim Lowe, CC