09 Mar 2019

This Week Letter – March 10, 2019

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From the Pastor’s Desk…

         “Return to Me with your whole heart and believe in the Gospel.”
This call to change our hearts is the main theme of the readings which we heard on Ash Wednesday and today, on the First Sunday of Lent. At the same time, these readings warn us against an insincere external attitude which signifies only an apparent change and not an internal transformation of the heart.

In a certain State, a man was caught and sentenced to life in prison for committing several murders after first savagely abusing his victims.  Before going to his cell, the prisoner was sent for a medical evaluation.  After examining the convict’s heart, the doctor concluded: “His heart is in order.  There are no changes.“   From a doctor’s point of view, such a diagnosis is good news for a patient.  Should we look upon the heart as just another organ of the body?  No.  The heart is much more.    We need to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit and accept His gifts which are  essential in order for us to perceive Christ in our lives and to unite ourselves to Him.

There are many people living today thanks to heart transplants.  They are grateful to their donors for their lives.  During the season of Lent, Christ reminds us that it is He who can give us a new heart and a new spirit.  Then let us open our hearts to His Divine influence and synchronize the beating of our hearts to the beating of His heart.

I invite and urge you to experience this Lent more intensely by attending a Mass every Sunday and such Lenten devotions as the Stations of the Cross, Lamentations and Lenten retreats.  I include each of you and your families in my Lenten prayers with the wish that your Lenten experience brings you ever closer to God and strengthens your commitment to Him.

Abstinence from meat is to be observed by all Catholics 14 years and older on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent. Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday by all Catholics who are 18 years of age but not yet 59. Those who are bound by this rule may take only one full meal. Two smaller meals are permitted if necessary to maintain strength according to one’s needs, but eating solid foods between meals is not permitted. The special Paschal fast and abstinence are observed on Good Friday and the same observance on Holy Saturday is encouraged.


                                                                                        God Bless… Fr. Rich