From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris…February 19, 2017

We have been talking about how we approach Mass and how our behavior in the church affects us and our appreciation of Christ and the Mass. This has brought us up to the threshold of Lent , Ash Wednesday is March 1st.

I think the two go hand in hand, because Lent is a season for us to redouble our efforts in devotion and fidelity to God and one another.

If we think about some of what I have been writing about in the bulletin (talking in church, how we dress for Mass, etc.), they are concrete ways for us to challenge ourselves to grow in love and devotion for God and for one another. They are, or could be, a form of penance that will lay the ground work for lasting change in our behaviors and attitudes beyond Lent. Really, isn’t Lent about taking new steps that will transform our lives?

We all know the cliché about Lent: giving up chocolate and coffee. These are not bad penances, but they generally do very little to transform our lives (except when caffeine withdrawals turn you into a monster). I am not even raising the question of whether giving up chocolate or coffee is truly a penance; the reality is most will simply go back to regular living after Lent. Such penances, if they really are penances, do little or nothing to transform our lives.

Lent is a season of preparation for our participation in the Resurrection of Christ. Our Lenten penances and devotions matter beyond Lent because we want to continue to live and grow into the new life Christ has won for us. So, when you think about the penances and devotions that you will be taking on in Lent, think about how they are going to be part of the ongoing transformation of your life after Lent.

Again, this is why such things as I have been talking about for the past couple weeks make good Lenten practices because they become the first steps in a new way of relating to Christ and to the Mass. Of course, if you want any help with developing your Lenten disciplines and devotions, don’t hesitate to call.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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