Lent is around the corner, so today is a good day to think about our character as we approach this holy season. Am I prone to judge others, more likely to recognize other’s faults rather than my own? Jesus points out that when we overlook our own faults, not only are we ourselves left deficient, but our judgmental outlook distorts our view of others.
This coming Wednesday we will begin a very special season in liturgy – Lent. We will have three Masses on Ash Wednesday: 6:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Please come to church and receive ashes as an outward sign of penance and conversion.
Here at St. Bernardine Parish, we have many events which give us a chance to sacrifice some time for prayer and so-called spiritual exercises. Every Friday we will have Stations of the Cross at 7:00 p.m. in the Church. Sunday, March 24 we will begin our Parish Mission. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will meet in the church at 7:00 p.m. Fr. James Hurlbert, pastor of Ascension Parish in Oak Park, will lead us through these days. On Tuesday, March 26 there will be a chance to experience God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of the service. Parishioners from St. Luke, River Forest, and Ascension, Oak Park are invited as well. It will give us an opportunity to pray and reflect our lives together.
Reflection booklets for Lent called “The Little Black Books” are distributed this weekend. It is an excellent and practical “tool” for making the season of Lent more reflective and spiritual. Please take one booklet per family.
Every Lent the Catholic Relief Services invites us to participate in Operation Rice Bowl. This is an excellent faith-in-action program that invites Catholics to live in solidarity with our most vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world through the three Lenten pillars of praying, fasting and almsgiving. Rice Bowls may be found at each of the exits. Please take one bowl per family and bring it back on Palm Sunday.
I pray for all of us that observing prayer, fasting and almsgiving may transform us to be more holy, which is our common vocation.
God bless you,