Strive to Do More During Lent

02-19-2021Letter from Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary's,

Eek! Yes, I say, “Eek!” I attributed the Monday Rosary to the Saint Vincent’s Society and it should have been attributed to the Women’s Spiritual Program. My apologies.

This past Wednesday we began the sacred Season of Lent. To be sure this Lent will be different from all others, but bear in mind we are still able to have this spiritually enriching season.

In the Mass and Service for Ashes on this past Wednesday we are reminded that there are three main activities which we need to accept into our lives during this time. They are prayer, fasting (i.e., self-discipline), and alms-giving (charitable work).

When we think about ourselves and this Lent, it is very possible to practice these three principles. It is important that we remember that Lent is a season for growing or deepening our relationship with our God. So the questions of Lent are: Do we pray? Do we exercise some self-discipline? And do we give to charity? Hopefully, the answer to all three of these is a resounding, “Yes!”

Lent is a time to strive to do more, to actually grow. To be sure, we may be not living all three of these ways of following Christ, so this is also a time to start. So if you do pray each day, try increasing it by 5 or 10 minutes more. If you do “give up” or refrain from foods or some activities during Lent, give up more, or, even better, begin some good new habits. Taking on new ways and habits during Lent is a wonderful sacrifice. Most people are charitable in various ways, but this is a season to give even more. This means for some actually saying more positive or nice things about people; it is struggle for negative people to be positive. Some folks are quite measured in their charitable giving; this is a time to go beyond your measure and give with a gushing heart.

The Season of Lent is not about less, it is about growing and being more. And best of all, each one of us is individually responsible; it is up to each one of us. We can use the excuse of the Pandemic, or we can thoughtfully think out ways to grow in faith in this Season as we slowly come to approach the Sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

You can find out the details and also connect with all these activities via our website. Just to remind you:

  • The Rosary is said every Monday night.
  • Deacon Stephen May is offering a wonderful Spiritual Program Tuesday nights via the web.
  • Daily Mass is in the Chapel Monday through Friday at 7 AM (register at the door, if you attend).
  • The Sacrament of Penance will be offered on Saturday, March 13, 20, 27 and April 3 from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM in the Reconciliation Room at the back of the Chapel.
  • Catholic TV (catholictv.org) has many wonderful programs for you.
  • Remember you can join the Men’s or Women’s Spirituality Program.
  • You can sign up for a brief Daily Lenten Reflection from Dynamic Catholic.
  • An indirect but helpful charitable way is to support the Envoy Program – Eat Out...Take Out...Help Out that has local restaurants contributing to the Franklin Food Pantry. The Franklin Interfaith Council is a sponsor of this.

You can also look at our website and assist the St. Vincent’s with the food and household supply list.

Lots of things are possible.

Again, I think you for your financial support of the holy work of Saint Mary’s by your faithful giving online, by your Sunday offering in church, or by your mail-in or by mail or through the slot of the Rectory door envelope.

Our Saint Vincent’s continues its quiet but needed work because of your support. Thank you on behalf of all of Parishioners and also those of our Parish and Town who are in need of your help.

The last couple of weeks have been like the winter we really know: cold, icy, snowy, windy, and constantly changing. The good news is that we see more light at the end of the day and thus winter is coming closer to its close. Hang on, be good to others and to yourself.

God bless.
Father Brian

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