March 17, 2019

Friends,

We began Lent 2019 on a high note on Ash Wednesday and we hope those who were able to begin the Lenten Journey with us had a positive experience at our 3 Churches. Many of our parishioners probably had the opportunity at other parishes depending on their schedules. We have welcomed new faces to our morning Masses since Lent began and they add to our experience. Some will have “perfect attendance” and will make Mass every day, others will join us periodically. As they say at Olive Garden , “when you’re here, you’re family”! 

This weekend is already the second Sunday of Lent. We are energized with so many of our parishioners celebrating their faith on weekends. Traditionally, there will be many Catholics abiding by the Lenten Fast and Abstinence guidelines and this can be a way of reminding ourselves that the Church does encourage us to do some sacrificing during Lent. Some will do this because those are the rules, others look for meaning behind these long time traditions. It is always good to decide that whatever I undertake during Lent is meant to enhance my relationship with God and the world. If it is not accomplishing that purpose, then maybe I need to take another look at what I’m doing.

I’ve mentioned before, there are those who conform because that’s what we are supposed to do; those who reform by changing their habits for the 40 days of Lent and then return to normal; and those who are determined to transform their lives for the longer journey of life. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but rather good, better, best. I admire anyone who is able to “give up” something for Lent as a reminder that nothing is irreplaceable in my life and I need to remind myself of that (e.g., sweets, smoking, alcohol, TV, gambling).

Those who were able to procure one of the “Little Black Books” that were available at the Church entrances can just take a few minutes out each day to reflect on the stories that are based on the writings of Bishop Ken Untener (former Bishop of Saginaw , Michigan). He was a wonderful human being who loved life and was a gifted storyteller. As we learn from these daily words, we can realize that there are many areas of our lives that need attention.

For example, "Why Forgive?" from the March 7 entry is quoted:

There are a number of good reasons why I should forgive. For example, it brings healing and peace to my own life. Nursing a grudge is bad for my health.

Another reason is that I was put here on earth for a purpose...born into this time and place to help carry out God’s plan for the universe and for all people.

What I do may seem very small, and/or unnoticed, like a flower in the desert whose fragrance seems to have no effect. But a flower does have an effect, and the whole world is different because of it.

God created me and put me on earth for a purpose, like that desert flower. What do I want to flow from me into this world?

Enjoy Life !
Father Coyne

 

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