A Meaningful Lent

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March is Lent for us Roman Catholics, and I for one kind of like that. Growing up, not so much—there were too many rules and I didn’t understand the why of it. For many Roman Catholics, for many generations, Lent was something to be endured. “Why do they call it fasting when it goes so slow?”

I am often inspired by others who actually enjoy Lent. I have come to discover it as a season of great opportunity and a real chance to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus the Christ. Lent can be a time to make some serious strides in our spiritual life if we have the right attitude. A former parishioner shared with me that he did not like being told to fast or to stay away from meat. In the same conversation he told me he had to cancel our dinner engagement because he was having a medical procedure the following day and would have to take some meds and fast for 12 hours.

For those of you who know me, at that point, my eyebrow went up and he quickly began to back track. Too late! “How much are you going to pay this doctor to put all that tubing where?” We all do it. Somehow, we can do whatever the medical people tell us to do from wearing that robe that never fits as we sit on an ice cold table or walk down the corridor at the hospital. Don’t eat fried foods, sugary foods, carbs, alcoholic beverages, processed snacks… the list goes on. And we do it. And we pay for it. But as soon as a spiritual leader asks us to do something, we become tax accountants looking for loop holes and what’s the minimum I can do and get the most out of it.

I’m not saying “don’t listen to your doctor” but I am asking that you listen to your spiritual leaders as well. One has your earthly life as the main concern the other has your earthly and heavenly life as the only concern.

Maybe your Lent needs a reset or even a start. Don’t worry there is still plenty of time and plenty of opportunities. For the Season of Lent and Holy Week, Sacred Heart Parish offers its members and guests several opportunities to grow spiritually closer to God and neighbor through the Lenten journey. First and foremost are our weekend Masses—the most important thing we do. Followed by daily Mass on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8 a.m.

We have quiet prayer time before the Blessed Sacrament on Monday afternoons from 3-4 p.m. and then again on Friday at 7:30 a.m. until the start of the morning Mass at 8 a.m.. If you cannot make it for the daily Mass, you can watch it on our Facebook page. The rosary is prayed each Tuesday morning around 7:35 a.m.. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered every Saturday from 2:30-3:30 p.m. as well as on Monday from 6-7 p.m. The Stations of the Cross will be prayed every Friday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. There will be a special presentation of the Stations by some of our young people on Friday, March 8 also at 6:30 p.m. Just stop in and make a visit. Spend some time in quiet prayer and reflection.

Holy Week wraps up this month and our Lenten journey. The blessing and distribution of palms, the great liturgy of the Sacred Triduum from Holy Thursday to the Great Vigil of Easter. We will have the Blessing of Easter foods on Holy Saturday as well as our annual Knights of Columbus Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Everything will be listed on our parish website, www.sacredheartct.com and our Facebook Page, Sacred Heart, Suffeld All will be beautiful and hopefully meaningful if we had a good Lent. I listed every opportunity we have for you but I can’t make you do any of it. I’m not a doctor. I’m a priest.

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