March 2, 2015
This year, the entire month of March finds us celebrating the season of Lent. But, during this month, we Catholics will celebrate two beautiful solemnities as well. The first is March 19, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the second is March 25, the Annunciation of the Lord.
While neither day is a holy day of obligation for us in the United States, I would urge you to come and participate at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on these days if at all possible. So many of you already make a commitment to daily Mass during Lent and for those who cannot make this commitment due to circumstances, again I urge you to try to come to Mass at least on these two days during Lent.
These two solemnities focus our attention and our prayers on the two persons whom God chose to be intimately involved in the life of His Beloved Son. Who better than Our Blessed Lady and her chaste spouse, Saint Joseph to show us how to love Jesus faithfully in all circumstances of life? Please do make this effort to participate at Mass on these solemnities.
By the time you receive this issue of the
Dakota Catholic Action, the Lenten Season will be about two weeks old. One of the better pieces of advice I have been given was from one of the wonderful Sisters who taught me in Catholic grade school. She told all of us at that time (I was a sixth grader) that every Wednesday in Lent, we should make a short examination of conscience just about the prior week and what we did and did not do to keep the season of Lent. That would help us for the next week.
I have never forgotten this and I have done this every year during Lent. She was absolutely correct. What I commit myself to on Ash Wednesday I ought to keep myself to for the entire time of Lent. When I examine this each week, I usually find that I am doing what I should be doing, but I also find that I have been lazy at times about my prayers, penances and good works. One of the good results of this weekly examination is that I find myself going to confession a bit more frequently and that is always good. Try this and you just might come to like it.
Please do not forget that each Friday of Lent is a day of abstinence for all Catholics who have celebrated their 14
th birthday. Try to make each Friday of Lent a day of true sorrow and penance for sins committed. Abstinence from all meat and foods made from meat by-products are a good way to do this.
Finally, if you are able, plan to join us Saturday, April 25 at the University of Mary in Bismarck for our Diocesan Convocation celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life. It is not only a great opportunity to thank the religious women and men of our Diocese for their loving service to Christ and the Church, but it is a good way to learn more of the real necessity for all of us to cultivate the evangelical counsels in our own vocations. All of the details and registration information can be found on our Diocesan website.
May this Lent be a time of holy preparation for the Paschal Triduum, the days of our salvation, for all of us. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us! Saint Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, pray for us!