Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Wednesday we begin the holy season of Lent in which we draw closer to the love of Jesus manifested by His willingness to suffer and die on the cross for our salvation. In addition to fasting on Ash Wednesday (you might want to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Tuesday—the traditional day to feast before Lent began) and Good Friday, we are called to abstain from meat (beef, chicken, pork) on Ash Wednesday and every Friday until Easter. The reason we do so is that these small sufferings remind us of how much Jesus suffered for each of us.
In addition, we are invited to strengthen the disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This Lent consider spending extra time each day in prayer, maybe praying the stations of the cross (feel free to join us for Stations and Soup) or the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary or reading the Gospel accounts about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and all that happened through the time of His death. Fasting or giving up something strengthens our willpower just as exercise strengthens our muscles. The more we do so, the stronger our willpower will be when we are faced with temptations. Almsgiving (if you have not made your PSA gift, this is a great opportunity) allows us to share in the generosity of Jesus who gave Himself to us at the Last Supper and gave us His own mother to be our mother as he died on the cross.
These disciplines are to help us grow in the awareness of God’s love for us, to gain control over our passions and to be grateful for the blessings we have received. I hope you will take advantage of these wonderful disciplines.
Bishop Tim Freyer