“Give alms…Pray to your Father…Fast without a gloomy face…”
(Matthew 6: 1-18)
Can you believe it…Lent is upon us! It is time to enter that special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. In the Gospel for Ash Wednesday, Jesus offers guidance on how we can get a good start on our Lenten journey.
Giving alms means making the needs of others our own, especially the needy of our world. And what shall we give? Some time, some of our talent, material resources. Almsgiving is not just for the rich. We all have something to give.
Prayer can take many forms. The important thing is being attentive to the presence of God. How can we pray? Reflective reading of the Bible or other spiritual books, the Eucharist and the other sacraments, sitting quietly and mindfully, simple grace-filled prayers, like the Rosary, the Our Father or the psalms.
Fasting is about letting go of things and grabbing on to God. It helps us to recognize the hold things have on us. Fasting helps us to keep food, drink, amusements and other good things in life in their right place as we keep our focus on God.