In two days, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He has invited the bishops and priests of the world to join him that day in offering prayer for peace and consecration. The Lenten season is a time for us to intensify our prayer. May we be in prayerful solidarity with Pope Francis on March 25th!
Fasting is another aspect of Lent. It provides us a means to purify our body and mind to focus greater attention on love of God and love of neighbor. May our fasting lead us to a deeper encounter with Christ as well as with those who are suffering, abandoned, and marginalized!
Lent is also a time to give alms, especially to those who are most in need. There is truly a refugee crisis in many parts of the world, most especially those who are fleeing the war in Ukraine. May we join with those whose lives are uprooted by force and give to charities that are aiding them!
The Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are not ends in themselves. They are meant to move us outward in deeper devotion to God and greater care, love, and compassion for all, particularly those on the peripheries.
May the Charity of Christ urge us on!
In God, the Infinite Love,