A Direct Relationship Between a Penitential Spirit and a Life of Generosity
Feb 25, 2018
The Lenten Season invites us to continue to live in a grateful and loving manner in response to all that God continues to give to us and do for us in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Next Sunday, March 4th, St. Mary Parish is to host the annual Area Tri-Parish Communal Lenten Penance Service at 3:00 p.m. Five priests plan to be present to assist with confessions.
Let’s look at why it can be said that there can be a direct relationship between our celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation and our ability to grow in the spirit of generosity.
Sin comes to expression in the inclination that we all have to cling to that which in and of itself is good in an unwholesome manner. At heart, we are relational creatures. We were created to live in loving harmony with God, within ourselves, with others and with the environment. As a result of Original Sin, we have lost the ability to do this on our own. As a result of being baptized, we’ve received the potential to live in loving communion in all of our relationships in response to God’s redeeming love for us in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of the influence of Original Sin in the world and in ourselves, it’s hard to live in loving communion with the Lord at all times. Whenever the determination to live for the Lord weakens within us, we come to live for someone or for something else. We become possessive of that for which we live. If we don’t put a check on ourselves, we can come to live for money and for what we can purchase with it. We can fall in love with being busy, especially in areas in which we are gifted. It’s always possible to relate to other persons in ways that are not wholesome for them and for ourselves. We can all too easily lose the awareness that others are entrusted to us only for a limited period of time.
Opportunities to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation invite and challenge us to examine for ourselves that for which we are living. As a result of doing this, we may become aware that we need to let go of that to which we are clinging in an unwholesome manner. When we sense that we need to let go of unwholesome ways of relating to the Lord’s blessings, the Lord’s forgiving love frees us to embrace those practices that enable us to experience and to extend the Lord’s generous love in an ever fuller way.
As we make the Lord’s offer to forgive all of our sins our own by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are freed for the following: 1) to grow in the determination to deepen and to strengthen our prayer life; 2) As we do this, we can grow in the desire to fast. While fasting is associated with limiting our intake of food, we will want to allow the spirit of fasting to influence the manner in which we relate to all of the blessings that are in our midst. As we grow in this way, we will come to want for ourselves only that which we sense, from the Lord’s perspective, we need. 3) As we grow in the ability to be content with what we need, we will have what it takes to be more generous with the resources of time, talents and treasure that are presently entrusted to us. Our very life style will more and more become an extension of the Lord’s generosity to others in our world.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor