Lady of the Angels Region
Dear Sisters and Brothers in St. Francis and
All too quickly
the Church's Ordinary Time slips into the Season of Lent that will culminate
with the Victory of the Resurrection of our Savior on March 31st 2013.
The purpose of Lent is twofold:
First, it is an opportunity for us to renew and
relive our Baptism, which is a celebration of First Conversion for cradle
Catholics or for those who have entered the community of faith later in life
through the R.C.I.A It is fitting to reflect on the meaning of "a man born
through water and the Spirit" (Jn, 3. 51). In our human experience, Water
gives and sustains life; in our faith experience, the Holy Spirit enlivens,
strengthens, empowers and fills us with enthusiasm [it's root meaning— to be in
God]. With great fervor, let us commit ourselves to live our Baptismal
Promises. What is our response to these questions? "Do we reject Satan and
all his works and all his empty promises?" "Do we believe in God, the
Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?" "Do we believe in
Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was
crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the
right hand of the Father?" "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the
holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the
resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?" This indeed is the faith
of the Church of which we are proud to profess, in our Lord and Savior.
Secondly, the forty days of Lent is
an opportunity to celebrate the forgiveness and Reconciliation, which is the life
long process of Second Conversion. We praise and thank God for his eternal
fidelity, love, mercy and forgiveness. He is true to us, despite our failings
and flaws, always extending the invitation to grow. The Peace Prayer of Francis invites us to see that where there is
dissention, friction or animosity with neighbor or ourselves that the Power of
God's Incarnate Son will bring reconciliation and joy. This demands much
prayer, fasting, almsgiving [the very spiritual penitential forms expressed in
Matthew's gospel. (Mt. 6)] It is through this Season of Lent that we embrace
and serve the Lord and His will.
The Savior made the journey through
sorrow, suffering and death to the glory of Resurrection that fine Easter
morning. With Francis let us embrace the
same path if we are to live life to the full in this world and in Heaven.
Friar Louis Geelan, O.F.M.
Questions for personal reflection
and/or group discussion
In what Franciscan ways do I enter into the Season of Lent?
what ways does Lent invite new life to my faith journey?