Believe it or not, Lent is only ten days away. Instead of waiting until the day before to prepare, now is the time to begin preparing for Lent. First I'll provide some information regarding Ash Wednesday Mass and Lenten activities. The Ash Wednesday (February 17) Mass is:
9am – Resurrection
Noon – St. Mary of the Snows (this is a school Mass; most seating will be in the cafeteria)
6pm – St. Mary of the Snows
If you are looking for Confession times, they are the following:
PSR & Tri-Parish Penance Service: March 14 at 1pm (St. Mary of the Snows)
Day of Grace Confessions – 9-11am, Noon-2pm, 4:30-5:25pm, 6-7:30pm
March 11 at Resurrection
March 23 at St. Mary of the Snows
Additional Confession Times:
Tuesdays – 4:30-5:25pm at St. Mary of the Snows
Thursdays – 4:30-5:25pm at Resurrection
Of course, we also consider the penitential practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus says, “When you pray...when you fast...when you give alms...”; Jesus doesn't use the conditional “if” you do those things. This reminds us that prayer, fasting, and giving alms is a part of the Christian life and part of the life of discipleship. While we should practice these penitential activities all year long, Lent is an intense time of practice: think of Spring Training in baseball or two-a-days for football.
Now is the time to pray about and discern how to engage in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, but I would like to primarily discuss fasting. Traditionally, fasting has referred to food, and this is something we already do: Ash Wednesday and Good Fridays are days of fasting, and all Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat. I strongly recommend you to consider how you will fast in this regard during Lent, but I also strongly recommend you to consider fasting from technology this Lent as well. While we probably can't totally refrain from using our devices, we can certainly fast and limit ourselves.
Here are some ideas when it comes to fasting from technology:
- Watching only the local news broadcast (for a half hour)
- Deleting social media apps from your phone/tablet
- Reducing time on social media by half or altogether
- Using your device for necessary purposes only
We are saints under construction, conformed more closely to Christ through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Have a great week!