Lent: A Time to Prepare and Grow Closer to God
The Season of Lent is a time of fasting, almsgiving and consciously making room for God in our busy lives. Whatever image comes to your mind with the distribution of ashes this Wednesday, we begin another Lenten journey together. There are many opportunities to grasp during these next 40 days.
FASTING & ABSTINENCE: Ash Wednesday is one of two days of fasting and abstinence set down by the Church, the other being Good Friday. In current Catholic practice, fasting means having only one full meal a day. Smaller quantities of food may be eaten at two other meals but no food should be consumed at any other time during the day. The law of fasting applies to those who are aged 18-59 years. Abstinence is the practice of abstaining from the use of certain kinds of food. Everyone aged 14 years and older is required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. The spirit of the law may invite us to extend the fast to things other than food – Facebook and Instagram, surfing the net, gambling or eating sweets. The minimum fasting requirements make most sense when they are combined with prayer and almsgiving. The Catholic practice of fasting and almsgiving aims at leading us to interior conversion. We fast in order to share our time and our treasure with an attitude of love and trust towards God and others.
DAILY MASS: Why not incorporate daily Mass into your Lenten journey this year? Each day we have daily mass opportunities for you to incorporate into your daily Lenten routine.
PARISH MINI MISSION: It is important to make time to reflect on our lives and the direction life is taking us. To help us this year we welcome Bishop Tim Norton who will lead our Parish Mini Mission over three days from 27 February – 1 March daily from 9:30am at Caloundra. Bishop Tim will also lead a Mini Mission in the evening at Stella Maris, Maroochydore from 5.00pm on the same days. Don’t let this Lenten opportunity slip by!
LITTLE BLACK BOOKS: Available at every church are the Little Black Books, which contain short and appropriate daily reflections which are a tremendous companion throughout the days of Lent. $2.00 each.
DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT: This Lent why not mark in your diary the Taizé prayer opportunity at Caloundra on Tuesday 7 March at 7.00pm.
RECONCILIATION: Forgiveness should be part of everyone’s Lenten journey. God’s mercy is unconditional! OLR church has reconciliation every Saturday from 8:30-9.00am. Our Communal Rite of Reconciliation will this year take place on 1 April at 9.00am. Please note, there is no 9.00am mass this day.
PROJECT COMPASSION: A practical and life giving aspect of Lent has always been our ability to financially support and sacrifice for those who are not so fortunate through the Project Compassion Appeal. Indeed, Project Compassion is something that all individuals and families can be involved in. Envelopes are available at the entrance to each church.
LENTEN PROGRAMME: This year the Lenten Programme is entitled, “Into His Likeness”. All those who have been part of the programme in previous Lents have found it a valuable part of their journey – it’s not too late to be part of it this year! Contact the parish office on 5430 9390.
LENT IS A SOLEMN SEASON: You will notice that together we have less decorations in the church while the Gloria is omitted until the great celebrations of Easter. As a Catholic Parish, as individuals and as families, Lent is an important time. To ensure that the grace of this season, and all the God-given opportunities, do not just slip through our fingers, it is important to think now how this Lent will be different and life transforming.