Hopefully this past week you have been putting together your spiritual plan for Lent. As I mentioned here last week, the fruitfulness of this holy season depends on how well you developed your spiritual plan and how well you follow it. Each of us needs to challenge ourselves to commit more time and effort to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Also important is learning more about the Catholic Faith, especially the Sacred Scripture that we find in the Bible. To help with that, consider a few online resources at https://stpaulcenter.com/
Once you arrive at the website, you’ll see two different options for online studies in the weeks ahead. One option, Exile, involves joining Scott Hahn once per week during Lent for an inspiring series of talks based on his new book, Catholics in Exile. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the Catholic Faith is very impressive, as is his desire for others to know it. The other option offered is a daily reflection on the Book of Exodus by John Bergsma. He moves through this book of the Bible, one chapter each day, highlighting the most important points that should be known while providing a daily challenge. Both of these online video series should easily fit into even the busiest of schedules, and they are free!
As was mentioned last week, I will be leading on Sunday afternoons during Lent a scripture study of the Eucharist, which is the primary focus of every Mass. The goal of the study is a better biblical understanding of the Eucharist and to experience the Mass in a much greater way than before. The Mass literally comes to life, filled from beginning to end with powerful images and stories that draw us into deeper understanding and participation at the Mass. The book we will be using is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist.
We will meet 2:00-3:15pm each Sunday during Lent at Resurrection Parish. Our first meeting will be this Sunday (Feb. 11). Please call any of the parish offices for more information and the first meeting’s study guide. All are welcome to attend, including non-Catholics and teenagers. I hope to see you there!
As you are thinking of your plan for almsgiving this Lent, please consider giving generously to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Everything Jesus did was for our good, both here on earth and for eternity. Jesus calls each of us to be part of that work. This includes not just going to Mass each Sunday and your daily prayers, which are essential, but also your financial support. That is why the Bishop appeals to us each year, seeking donations from us. Even Saints Peter and Paul did this, not because they wanted to do so but because they needed to do so.
The Annual Catholic Appeal is the yearly invitation for each of us (priests included) to help with funding the Diocesan services that are provided to parishes throughout our diocese. Without these it would be much more difficult and costly for parishes to operate. Thanks for your support of this appeal in previous years and I’m grateful for your doing so again this year.