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Fast & Furious

We are starting a new outreach, called Fast and Furious. Once a month or so, before Mass begins, we will explain some aspect of Catholic belief or practice. This will be quick and short- which is why we call them Fast and Furious!

Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of preparation for the Easter season when Christians are called to deepen their spiritual lives. We improve our spiritual well-being by stripping away all that is unnecessary and becoming more mindful of how God is working in our lives. Challenge yourself this year, and go beyond the usual practice of “giving up” something. Now is a great time to take stock of your spiritual life and to grow in it.  In these last few days before Lent begins, we can turn to Jesus and ask, “What is the grace you desire to deepen within me over these next 40 days?”

Lent usually focuses in on Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence. We all desire to pray more during this time. As you’re walking the streets, driving down the road, or sitting in your cubicle at work, pick out a person who appears to be in need and pray for that person. Be mindful of the words of philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

We fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, by having 2 small meals and one larger one at dinner but can we also make a commitment to fast from insensitive, cruel comments about others? So, no gossiping or going down the Twitter rabbit hole.

We abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and the Fridays of Lent. Can we abstain from or Netflix for an hour a day and read the daily readings for Mass that day instead or read the entire Gospel of Mark in one sitting? As the shortest Gospel, it is the most concise story of Jesus’ life, and the cross, a central Lenten symbol, plays an even more prominent role than in the other Gospels.

As a part of your Lenten almsgiving, perhaps make a point to learn more about a particular social issue -immigration, human trafficking, racism, the environment, public education, or child poverty. Give money to an organization related to your chosen issue that supports the dignity of the human person.

It’s Fast, it’s furious and now we are done! May your Lent be blest!

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