We Make the Path by Walking
(St Boniface 2016 Lenten Theme)
Jesus has just been baptized and he walks into the desert to pray. But his is not left alone. Temptations plague him at every turn. When his is thinking about his mission from God, he is distracted by temptations to give up his calling. This happens to all of us. When we want to grow as a person is when we receive the temptation to do less … to be less. It is at that point we must resist it. If we can’t get by our temptations, then we will not grow as a person. Jesus is energized when he leaved the desert. He has withstood the tests, and can feel the presence of God calling him forth into his mission. With great courage, he walks into the journey that will define him. He does not know how everything will unfold. He does have ideas of what his mission will entail, but at the same time, his journey will unfold as he walks along the paths of Israel. The same is tur for us: We will make our path by walking. Fr. Vince Rosonke
Visit the top of this page to read the 2016 Lenten Homilies.
What is Lent?
Lent is a 40-day period leading up to Easter, beginning with Ash Wednesday (February 10). Lent is a known as a penitential season, which is an opportunity to examine your life, give your struggles to God, and invite him to help you become the best you can be. In particular, there is an increased focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, These spiritual exercises help prepare us for the celebration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
When Is Lent in 2016?
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (February 10). The day before Ash Wednesday is popularly known as Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday). Since Lent is a season of fasting, Fat Tuesday traditionally is a final day of feasting and merrymaking before the 40-day fast.
When Is Easter in 2016?
Easter is March 27, 2016.
When is Holy Week in 2016?
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, which is March 20. Holy Thursday, which begins the three-day period the Church calls the Easter Triduum, is March 24. Good Friday is March 25.
What Should I Give Up for Lent?
Lent is the perfect time to form new life-giving habits and abandon old self-destructive habits. But most of us just give up chocolate. Then, when Easter arrives, we realize we really haven’t grown spiritually since the beginning of Lent. Lent is not just about giving things up, like chocolate. Lent is about doing something—something bold to become a better husband or wife, father or mother, son or daughter, friend, neighbor, etc.
What are Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving?
Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three traditional practices of Lent. They are meant to help us turn away from self-destructive habits and open ourselves to God so he can help us become the-best-version-of-ourselves.
What Is Prayer?
Therese of Lisieux wrote, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” And yet, the truth is, prayer is perhaps the most difficult thing we will ever do.
Prayer is central to the Christian experience. A Christian life is not sustainable without it; growth in the Christian life is simply not possible without prayer. Growing in character and virtue, learning to hear the voice of God in our lives, and walking where he calls us, all require the discipline of prayer.
If you want to know God, and if you want to know yourself, pray. Talk to God. There are many different kinds of prayer (adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving), but in the end, prayer is simply conversation with God.
What Is Fasting?
Fasting is a spiritual exercise, and is primarily an action of the inner life. We do not fast to impress other people. We fast to cultivate the inner life. Fasting should be an occasion of joy, not a cause of sadness. Authentic fasting draws us nearer to God and opens our hearts to receive his many gifts.
Go without food for several hours and you quickly realize how truly weak, fragile, and dependent we are. This knowledge of self-strips away arrogance and fosters a loving acknowledgment of our utter dependence on God.
Catholics are asked to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (when we remember Christ’s passion and death). To meet the requirements of a day of fasting, Catholics eat only two small meals and one full meal, without eating in between meals. If you are physically unable to fast from food, you can choose something else to fast from on those days. Catholics are also asked to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays (since Jesus died on a Friday).
What Is Almsgiving?
Almsgiving is giving to those in need. If we open our eyes we will discover that we are surrounded by need. We are always called to be generous, but during Lent, we are invited to share the love of God with other people by being especially generous with our time, talent, and treasure.
We cannot do everything, but that doesn’t mean we should do nothing. We cannot save everyone, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t save some. Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. And what we can do, all of us, is make small sacrifices, and simplify our lives in some small ways so that others may simply live.