Hard to believe, but this we begin the season of Lent, preparing for the mysteries of Holy Week and Easter through 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Truth to tell, the fruitfulness of Lent depends nearly entirely on us. The only extra obligation is abstinence from meat on Fridays (no exceptions of this year!).
There are plenty of extra things we could do: pray the stations of the cross each Friday (Noon at Holy Rosary, 7 PM at St. Joseph), make a good confession (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 5:00 PM at Holy Rosary), and join in the fraternity of soup suppers (5:00 PM at St. Joseph's).
And what about that threefold practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving? To my mind, this is where the desert of Lent begins to bloom with graces.
Who among us doesn't have something in our lives that we know really needs to be given up, even just temporarily?
How often have I thought about how over- concerned I am about possessions, money or other things rather than generously offering it to the Lord?
Which of us hasn't looked back on the previous week and regretted our failure to pray, our busy-ness with the little stuff?
This is the time! For 40 days (plus a few more), we have a season set aside that we might be drawn closer to Christ. Who knows what He has planned for us, if we are willing to join him in the desert. Let us be sure we do, by consciously choosing to walk with Christ this Lent.