Dear Sacred Heart Families,
I am happy to say that Fr. Tomy will be staying on at our parish for three more years. Bishop Boyea has asked that we (St. Mary on the Lake, Sacred Heart, and St. Anthony’s) send him a contract for those years. Previously it had been worked out year to year so it is great to have that stability. Fr. Tomy has been and will continue to be a blessing for us.
I hope we are off to a good start for Lent. Sometimes the season can be a discouraging one because it means trying to do something and then failing. Well part of the lesson of Lent is learning to get back up and keep on trying with God’s grace. Such humility is good for us. If a week into Lent we have failed in our resolution we simply get back up.
I know we are already a week in but it is never to late to start and/or do a course correction if the Holy Spirit has put something else on your heart. Don’t be afraid to be inventive this Lent with your fasts/practices. Here are some ideas…
- Fasting from media/social media. It is rather incredible how much time we spend on media in its many forms and how much social media can play an outsized role in our lives. Lent can be a great time to address that. It is also amazing how hard this can be because of how deeply embedded it has become in so many aspects of our lives.
- The phone basket- Have this near the kitchen table so the phone goes into the basket during dinner so your family dinner time is protected. So many things we wear now are connected to the web so the basket might include other devices as well. (Who would have dreamt that one day our watches could also serve as phones!).
- Build one person up each day- Look for the opportunity each day to recognize something positive in another person and either compliment them or share that with someone else. In a world where negative news often gets the greatest press we can fall into that same trap in our own conversations and interior judgments.
- Have a list of people we fast for- fasting is a way of praying and an augment to prayer. A beautiful way to make our fasting more fruitful and give it more meaning for us to always offer up our sacrifice for someone. If it is a Friday in Lent and you are not eating meat go to your list of people you know need prayers and pick one to offer that small sacrifice for. I know of couples who fast one day for each other. Others who take a day to fast for the Church. There really are endless possibilities with this.
- Let Lent be a forgiveness time – Lent is a traditional time for receiving the sacrament of reconciliation. It is also a great season to think of the people we need to forgive and begin praying in a consistent way to forgive them with God’s help. A simple prayer is this- “Jesus I forgive (say the person’s name) for (list what you need to forgive them for)”. Pray this prayer as long as you need to. Forgiveness is a decision that we need to make and it is one that will change our lives.