Parishioners are receiving e-mails, purportedly from me, asking for Amazon cards, I-tunes, etc. It is a scam, using public information in the bulletin and on the webpage to get contact information. Never contribute to something like that without checking that it is valid. Be especially careful if “hurry” and “emergency” are invoked. Take the time to find out or simply delete
I thank all who participated in our Lenten reflection this past Tuesday evening. Hopefully, it will help make our Lenten observance more meaningful. Please join us for our Stations of the Cross this Tuesday, March 19, at 7 pm.
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On Ash Wednesday we heard Jesus explain the three disciplines of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The first Sunday of Lent we heard about the temptations of Jesus: as a human being, he was tempted to use His power for His own good, comfort, and self-advancement. Now, the second Sunday of Lent, we have the story of Jesus’ Transformation. Why?
One way of looking at it is that we are being reminded, early on in Lent, that the purpose of the disciplines we do in Lent is to transform us, to change us, to make us more like Christ. Hopefully, by the time we celebrate Easter, there will be a little less of Paul Portland’s ego and needs in me and a little more of Christ. Like St. Paul, we are gradually transforming ourselves into Christ.
I repeat what I wrote last week: to help us grow (read TRANSFORM), Lent calls us to increased fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. The fasting helps us move out of ourselves, to be less self-indulgent; the almsgiving goes a step further, asking us to reach out and use the gifts we have been given for others; since both of those are difficult, building a stronger relationship with the Lord through prayer will hopefully give us the help and strength that we will need to continue our lifelong process of transformation.
Fr. Anthony de Mello tells the story of a change in one man’s prayer life: “I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was: ‘Lord, give me the grace to change the world.’ As I approached middle age and realized that half of my life was gone without changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: ‘Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me; just my family and friends and I shall be satisfied.’ Now that I am old and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. My one prayer now is: ‘Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayed for this right from the start, I should not have wasted my life.” Let us support each other’s efforts with prayer.