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1680OFS Letter for Lent 2013

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  • Richard Chamberland ofs
    Jan 28, 2013
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      A blessed New Year to all!
      Regional Spiritual Assistant
      Our Lady of the Angels Region
                                                                                                                      Lent 2013,
       Dear Sisters and Brothers in St. Francis and Clare,
              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.
                                                                                                   Fraternally,
                                                                  Friar Louis Geelan, O.F.M.
                      Questions for personal reflection and/or group discussion
      1. In what Franciscan ways do I enter into the Season of Lent?
      2. In what ways does Lent invite new life to my faith journey?
       
      Paix et Joie
      Richard Chamberland