Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. Typically, Catholics find themselves in Lent without making resolutions beforehand. Why don’t we make those resolutions now so that we might hit the ground running this Wednesday? Consider these suggestions in order to make a holy Lent this year:
1. Give up sin. God made us good; our actions have made us sinners. It is possible to decide not to sin anymore. Try it. Resolve not to sin. If you do sin, the Sacrament of Confession is readily available to forgive guilt and give strengthening grace not to sin again.
2. Come to Holy Mass. Renew the covenant that God made with you when He died for your sins, rose from the dead, and incorporated you into His Holy Catholic Church in order to be saved from Hell and given Heaven. Without assisting at Holy Mass (unless you are sick or unable to come) we cannot receive God’s saving grace.
3. Pray daily. We take care of our bodies every day by eating, sleeping, and bathing. Do we take care of our souls every day? We have to feed our hungry souls with daily prayer. Read the sacred Scriptures, pray the Holy Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy from a Catholic app. Your soul will find peace and knowledge of God’s will as you pray.
4. Make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Listen to a talkative person. Eat healthy food that doesn’t taste good. Read to your small children. Visit elderly relatives. Do something good but difficult and offer it to God for the conversion of others. Do it for God.
Let’s make this Lent a holy and fruitful 40 days by loving God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves.
God bless you,