Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 3/9

Ash Wednesday by Amadeo Cristobal

First a little survey... then a pause for prayer...

 Check all that apply:

___ I had no idea that March 6 was Ash Wednesday.

___ I knew March 6 was Ash Wednesday but I forgot!

___ I remembered March 6 was Ash Wednesday
        - but I was too busy to get to church.

___ I went to church on Ash Wednesday.

___ I went to church on Ash Wednesday and have been
         faithfully praying, fasting and serving the poor
            for three days now.

___ I went to church on Ash Wednesday
         but haven't thought much about it since.

No matter which one(s) you checked, you can be sure of 3 things:
   - The Lord loves you...
   - The Lord welcomes you to the season of Lent...
   - The Lord wants you to deepen your spiritual life
         in this season of renewal...

So, even if you haven't begun,
  of if you got off to a rough start,
      it's not too late to start living the season of Lent - today!

Take a few minutes now to decide
   - how you might be more faithful to prayer this Lent...
   - how you might give up or let go some things
         that come between you
            and your love for God and your neighbor...
   - how you might, in the 6 weeks ahead,
         be generous to those in need... 

And, now, let's all pause for prayer:
Lord, however faithful or jumbled 
   has been the beginning of Lent in my life,
I trust that you still call me to live this season
   and to grow in faith, hope and love...
Keep me from being discouraged by my mistakes
   and open my eyes to all the ways
      you wait for me and want to help me grow...
Help me remember that it's no sin
   to be a few days late in beginning the season of Lent,
that the greater mistake would be to just give up
   and let this opportunity for grace pass me by...
If I've made a good start, Lord,
   make me stronger in my resolve.

If I've made a half-hearted beginning,

   jump-start my efforts.

If I've not yet begun at all,

   send your Spirit to get me moving.

O God of second chances and new beginnings,
   help me find in the weeks ahead
      a season of grace and prayer and peace.   Amen.
(If your Lent has had a rocky beginning, a great way to get things moving
would be to come to church this weekend for Mass on the First Sunday of Lent!)

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