Pastor’s Desk – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time

What Should I Do for Lent this Year? Well, who better to pick for as your Lenten spiritual director than Pope Francis?  Pope Francis’ 10 Tips.

1.  Get rid of the lazy addiction that keep us from God – “[Lent] is a ‘powerful’ season, a turning point that can foster change and conversion in each of us. Lent helps us to leave behind old habits of sin that deceive and ensnare us.”    

2.  Do something that costs – Lent is a time for self-denial; we should ask ourselves what we can give up in order to really help others by our self-denial. No self-denial is real without this dimension of penance.    

3.  Don’t remain indifferent  “Indifference to our neighbour and to God represents a real temptation for us Christians.” Think of others, think of God – not ourselves.

4.  Pray: Make our hearts like yours!   “During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: Make our hearts like yours’.”  In this way we will receive a heart which is not closed or indifferent.     

5.  Take part in the sacraments – “Lent is a time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him.” This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Go to Mass more often if you can.

6.  Prayer – “In the face of so many things that hurt us and harden us and make us indifferent, we are called to prayer, especially during Lent. In prayer we come close to God”.      

7.  Fasting“We must be careful not to practice fasting because it makes us feel good about ourselves.” Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it also leads to some benefit for others.    

8.  Almsgiving – “Almsgiving helps us to experience giving freely, of sharing our blessings with others.”   

9.  Help the Poor  “In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ.”    

10.  Evangelize  “The Lord asks us to be heralds of his love and mercy – to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness.”

You probably won’t be able to take huge steps forward in all of these areas. Instead, pick a couple that stand out to you and try to find practical ways to grow in your love of God and your love of your neighbour. Which one of Pope Francis’ tips sticks out to you the most?

Fr Gerry