Posted by Sr. Marjorie Hebert, MSC | March 2018 |
Dear Friends of Catholic Charities:
Thank you for joining Catholic Charities in our Unity through Prayer Lenten Campaign. Inspired by Pope Francis’ words during his 2017 Lenten message, “Let us pray for one another so that, by sharing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and poor. Then, we will be able to experience and share the full joy of Easter.” We’ve asked you all, our community, to join with us in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving to support the most vulnerable among us.
Every year for Lent, we fast or abstain from some luxury in our lives to mimic the sacrifice Christ made during his 40 day journey into the desert. While giving up certain comforts allows us to experience on a minute scale what the destitute and starving have to endure, we should remember to pair the act of physically abstaining with spiritual fasting. Fasting should “wake us up,” as Pope Francis said in this year’s Lenten message, it should “make us more attentive to God and our neighbor.”
Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are tools meant to aid in self-examination, repentance from sin, and, ultimately, a return to the Lord. During this Lenten season, as we reflect on our own shortcomings, let us fast from judgement, intolerance, and negativity. Giving up something for Lent should demonstrate compassion and enrich others.
As we fast from judgement, let us feast on empathy and compassion; as we fast from harsh criticism doled out in a reactionary manner, let us feast on considered constructive praise. Fasting from judgement can be as simple as making an effort to be conscious of the way you react or treat people based on their accent, manner of dress, or other outward signifiers of class, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Fasting from quick, harsh, unfiltered confrontations can be as simple as saying a prayer before confronting a coworker and keeping your own shortcomings in mind. There is still time to make the most of this Lenten season.
Thank you for your prayers and gifts.
God bless you,