The Holy Season
of Lent

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Today we enter the season of Lent, the most solemn penitential season of the liturgical year remembering the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and the events leading up to Christ’s Passion. As Lent starts, we begin to hear the solemn invitation during Liturgy of the Hours, “The time of penance has come, the time to atone for our sins and to seek our salvation.”

The journey toward Easter demands conversion, a renewal of mind, heart, and spirit to prepare ourselves for the coming of Easter. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis provided some valuable reflections for the practices for Lent:

Bullet.png Take part in the sacraments: “Lent is a favorable time for letting Christ serve us so that we, in turn, may become more like Him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ.”

Bullet.png Praying: “By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well. We can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer.”

Bullet.png Self-denial: "Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.”

Bullet.png Almsgiving: "Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbor as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! In our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God himself. When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of his children. If through me God helps someone today, will he not tomorrow provide for my own needs? For no one is more generous than God."

Bullet.png Fasting: "Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbor. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger."

Dear Friends, Lent is the season of grace to begin anew. Let us enter this holy season with great determination to leave behind everything that keeps us from conforming our life to the Lord of Life. So that with mind and heart renewed, we can celebrate with joy the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. May Our Blessed Mother accompany and help us along our journey.

We wish you a grace-filled and fruitful Lent.

From Mother Mary Joseph and all Sisters of Terre Haute Carmel   

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