Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary His Most Holy Mother! The Church each year invites us to the joy of Lent. She uses the word joy because it is the opportunity for all of us to come closer to Our Lord which is always a joy.
We follow the time-tested means of prayer, fasting and almsgiving during this holy time. As we embrace the discipline of Lent we mortify the senses which take us away from God and uplift the spirit. Lent is a time for penance.
The prophet Ezekiel reminds us of our own responsibility for our own sins. Thus says the Lord: The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of his father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of his son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
God wants the sinner to turn away from sin and live, but he has to cooperate with God by his sorrow and acts of penance. In his wonderful exhortation on Penance and Reconciliation, St. John Paul II wrote: Sin is always a personal act, since it is an act of freedom on the part of an individual person, and not properly of a group or community…hence there is nothing so personal and untransferable in each individual as merit for virtue or responsibility for sin.
I would encourage everyone to use this time of Lent as an opportunity to come to confession, to look deep within our own souls and to know the light and joy of forgiveness of sin.
Our parish Lenten Retreat will take place beginning next weekend. Our retreat master will be Father Lachlan T. Cameron of the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Father Cameron is in residence at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre and many may perhaps recognize him from celebrating the televised Mass in Telecare. Father Cameron will preach at all the Masses next weekend, MARCH 7TH AND 8TH. Our retreat will be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9th, 10th and 11th from 7.00pm until 8.00pm. The format of the retreat will be exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament and time for silent adoration. Then Father will give us our Lenten Retreat spiritual conference. The evening will conclude with Benediction at 8.00pm. I would encourage everyone to attend these wonderful and grace filled days. As St. Josémaria Escrivà once wrote: It is Christ Who is passing by, and he may never pass this way again! Yes, let us all use these days for our spiritual growth; we may never have the opportunity to do so again. For those who are unable to come out in the evening there will be one morning session of the retreat on Wednesday, March 11th at 9.00am in the Church. This will be the Mass with the retreat conference and the opportunity for confession. There will be the opportunity for confession at all the evening sessions and the morning session.
Lenten Evening of Recollection: I would encourage everyone to please come to a Lenten Evening of Recollection on Wednesday evening, March 18th at 7.00pm. This Evening of Recollection will be presented by Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski in the Church. It is sponsored by the Marian Guild and there will be a reception for the Bishop in Monsignor Costa Hall afterwards.
First Friday and First Saturday: This week will be the First Friday and the First Saturday of the month. I would encourage all of you to spend some time in adoration of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament in the chapel on Friday.
Benedicat Virgo Maria!
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda