In this month of March, we will celebrate literally three great seasons in our Church’s year of grace and favor from the Lord – Lent (begun on Ash Wednesday last), the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday), and Easter (Easter Sunday and continuing to Pentecost Sunday).
Certainly, all three of these distinct liturgical seasons are related to each other and the relation is very easy for us to see and understand. However, let us not get ahead of ourselves since we are still very much in the midst of the season of Lent. As you read this issue of the Dakota Catholic Action
do you remember going to Mass on Ash Wednesday? Do you remember receiving blessed ashes (a sacramental) on your forehead in the Sign of the Cross and the words used by the priest? There are two forms approved for use with the imposition of ashes: “Turn away from and be faithful to the Gospel,
” or, “Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you shall return.
” Have you spent some time so far in Lent praying and meditating on those words? If you have, no doubt you have realized that both direct our hearts to the same reality – our lives are not our own, they belong to God and we live here on God’s time. Thus, we have no time to waste but should avoid sin in its every form and faithfully follow Christ Jesus.
Why? Because he said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Lent is our time to make certain we really are following Him and to get rid of all that keeps us from doing this in our daily lives. As of this reading, there is still time to do this. I would like to suggest that the best way to observe Lent is to go to confession and more than once if necessary. Then attend Mass as often as possible and receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. Keep yourself united to Him and you will see an immediate difference in your daily life. Temptations are more easily rejected, acts of charity come more easily for you, and your prayer gives you greater peace of mind and heart.
Then, as you enter the shortest but most spiritually intense season of the Paschal Triduum, you will celebrate with greater humility and joy the Lord’s institution of the Holy Eucharist and the sacramental priesthood on Holy Thursday, His saving passion and death on Good Friday, and His descent among the dead on Holy Saturday. Do you realize that Jesus did all of this for you personally? What is your response to Him?
The Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection and the season of Easter prove to us again that God lives and no one can ever change that truth. What a consolation and great joy! Our faith begins and ends with Him. It is God’s gift to us to help us get to heaven. Let us enjoy our faith and experience the abiding peace and joy we have in Jesus Who has loved us with an everlasting love.
May all of you have a good Lent, and a most Blessed Easter and Easter Season!