Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Happy Valentine’s Day. I want to give you all the hearts I can today so that you will be ready to take on ASH WEDNESDAY with hearts ready to begin the journey to the celebration of the greatest feast in our Christian lives: Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

To prepare ourselves we Fast, ages 14 to 59, taking one main meal and two little ones. We abstain from meat, age 14 and older, on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and the Fridays of Lent. tells us: “The reason Lent lasts 40 days is that 40 is the traditional number of judgment and spiritual testing in the Bible (Gn 7:4, Ex 24:18, 34:28, Nm 13:25, 14:33, Jn 3:4). Lent bears particular relationship to the 40 days Christ spent fasting in the desert before entering into his public ministry (Mt 4:1-11). Catholics imitate Christ by spending 40 days in spiritual discipline before the celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death.”

Bodily fasting is meaningless unless it is joined with a spiritual fast from sin. Listen to St. Basil the Great regarding fasting:  “Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.”

I could go on for days. The amount of material you can find on Lent and its traditional practices is nearly endless. For me, the point of it all is, change the way you do everyday things, e.g. eating and sleeping and watching television, etc. By making interruptions and adjustments to your routines on the “outside,” perhaps it will help you to renew your heart “inside.”

As we have in the past, today we give you two things to help you celebrate Lent: the Lenten prayer booklet, Not By Bread Alone, and stuffed into the booklet we put a Rice Bowl. The Rice Bowls can go on your dining room tables during Lent, and the idea is maybe you’d give up a meal a week at least and put whatever it would have cost you in the Rice Bowl. Catholic Relief Services will make sure that the proceeds get to the poor!

Another thought I have every Lent, and I’m sure you will hear it more than once, is that Lent isn’t merely a time of “giving up” something. It’s also a time of “giving to.” It’s more than money. To whom will you give your attention in a new way? To whom will you listen more closely? To whom will give a hand in help¬ing with an annoying chore?

As I write I’m saying to myself, “OK buster! Practice what you preach!”

Given our circumstances we will not have formal Stations of the Cross, but thanks to Annie we have put together a copy of Mary Kennedy’s The Way of the Cross, with John the Beloved. TAKE ONE HOME.

Every Friday we will leave open the Main Sanctuary until 5:00 p.m. if you want to walk the Stations. We will even spring and leave the AC on. Just don’t trip over anyone. That means you’re too close.

A note on ABCD. We have reached 81.1%. You are great, and I thank you.

A gentle (OK not so gentle) reminder: we have sim¬ple rules about coming into the Main Sanctuary: Masking, Sanitizing Hands and Spacing. It’s for your own protection. Even after the vaccine, we will still need to observe those three important steps. If some can’t do that then please don’t come here. Wait until all the requirements are lifted. Spread the word that we must ask someone not cooperating not to enter.

Whoever thought it could come to, “You can’t come in.” But for the moment it has.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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