Lent is upon us...

02-11-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last week we were blessed with a special Mass offered by the Most Reverend Robert Guglielmone, Bishop Emeritus. At that Mass, we celebrated the ninth anniversary of the dedication of our church and the Bishop also blessed 19 stunningly beautiful tapestries. What a special time that was for us as a parish! We were able to reflect upon our physical and spiritual heritage and to look forward and consider what God might have for us in the future.

And Lent is now upon us! Lent is a time when we are encouraged to go out into the “desert” and seek our Lord through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It’s a time when we try to sacrifice something that we enjoy that we might focus more deeply on the Lord, on His love, mercy, and forgiveness...on His plan for our lives.

The world we live in is full of questions, sufferings, and uncertainties. Our Lord has answers for us, but we must earnestly seek Him and listen in the silence of the desert. “The desert is the place of hunger, thirst, and the spiritual combat. It is vitally important to withdraw to the desert in order to combat the dictatorship of a world filled with idols that gorge themselves on technology and material goods, a world dominated and manipulated by the media, a world that flees God by taking refuge in noise.” (Robert Cardinal Sarah)

The Lenten season of conversion through prayer, penitence, and charity is then, a meaningful way to follow our Lord. The Lenten Season we are about to begin should motivate us to strive for holiness, to overcome frivolity and superficiality, so we can focus on reaching the eternal.

The ashes which we will soon receive will remind us of the brevity of everything material... including our own lives. It should cause us to see how we often try to fill the emptiness in our lives with the things of this world; things that do not bring peace. The imposition of the ashes is a call to conversion... to recognize with a spirit of repentance the materialism and selfishness with which we live too frequently... so we can decidedly turn to Christ for renewal.

“You are merciful to all, O Lord, and despise nothing that you have made. You overlook people’s sins, to bring them to repentance, and you spare them, for you are the Lord our God.” (Entrance Antiphon for Ash Wednesday)

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson