Right from the readings on Ash Wednesday, Lenten gospels remind us of the traditional ascetical practices of Lent, including almsgiving, fasting and prayer.
Often times we tend to overlook these because see them in the context of being somewhat “old fashioned” and more in line with a “more traditional Church.” I would suggest that these can be seen in a very modern sense if we reach out to the homeless and those who show up in our shelters, especially during these cold days and nights.
Fasting is not just denying oneself food or nourishment but those things that are more satisfying and pleasurable. Finally, prayer is not just saying prayers but trying to be a more prayerful person and growing in a more prayer-filled life.
Lord, help us be aware of you in all things that we do and in all people that we meet. May we respond to them as we would respond to strangers we meet on the road or knocking at our door asking for assistance. When we respond, may we see in them, you, the one who is really asking for help.
Offered by Fr. James Michaletz, CSV, retired high school administrator, assistant superintendant of schools for the Chicago Archdiocese and assistant pastor, Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bourbonnais, IL