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I write a letter every week in our parish bulletin.  Here's my pre-Lent letter for this Sunday...
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

God is about to do something in your life!   It doesn’t matter if you are 7, 17, 27, 37, 47, 57,67, 77 or 87 years old  - God is about to do something in your life! Whether you come to church only occasionally or every week - God is about to do something in your life. Perhaps you are a mom or a dad, busy with a thousand things to do and 10,000 things to worry about; perhaps you are a youngster in the third grade; you might be a middle school or high school student; maybe you’re retired; perhaps you live alone; you might be a young single adult; you might be happy or sad, tired or rested; perhaps you are engaged to be married or you may have been recently widowed; perhaps you are separated or divorced; you might be a single parent; you might love the Church or you might be fed up with the Church; maybe you have forgotten about God, or you might think that God has forgotten about you: whoever you are, God is about to do something in your life.

Do you have an idea, a thought, a notion of how God might want to touch your life this Ash Wednesday and in the forty days of Lent that follow?  Don’t doubt for a moment that God waits to touch your heart in the holy season ahead of us. As a matter of fact, no day in our lives goes by without the Lord reaching out to touch us, to speak to us, to forgive us, to heal us, to comfort and challenge us. Lent is a time when we make an extra effort, for 40 days, to listen for God’s word, to ask for his mercy, to open ourselves to his healing touch, and to invite the Lord to enter more deeply into our hearts and lives. At least for a season, we make a special effort to be open to God - and you can be sure that God is ready to take advantage of our seasonal readiness! God is about to do something in your life.

Just what IS Lent, anyway?  LENT is a season to do some spring-cleaning in the many rooms of our hearts and to ready them for celebrating God’s gift of new life at Easter.  LENT is a season to prepare for Easter by: prayer (with the church and alone); fasting (learning to hunger for God); and generous giving (caring for the poor).  LENT is a time for getting back to basics: to learn again and to practice for forty days how we should live as Christians every day of the year.  LENT is a time for coming home: coming home to the Church community; coming home to prayer; coming home to God.  LENT is spring training for Christians: a time to get in shape, spiritually; a time to strengthen what is weak within us and tone up the strengths we have. LENT is a time to make the time to begin to actually do the things we so often say we want and hope to do - but just never seem to have or make the time to get around to doing them...  LENT is a time for getting ready to celebrate EASTER!  Easter is at the heart of our life as Christians and Lent is the way to prepare for Easter joy!

Again this year, on Ash Wednesday, we’ll distribute small wooden crosses for you to carry to remind you on a daily basis that we’re in this special season, a reminder of your Lenten practice. Following the theme of this letter, each cross will bear the words: JESUS, touch my life TODAY!  (Reading this on my blog or on FaceBook?  See a previous post on how to receive one of these Crosses free!) And today you received a small daily Lenten prayer book, a gift to our parish from The Concord Funeral Home.  And on Wednesday we’ll distribute containers for collecting your sacrificial Lenten offerings to benefit our parish St. Vincent de Paul Society which reaches out to those in need here in Concord.  So many opportunities!  God is about to do something in your  life!  Let JESUS touch your life TODAY!

Fr. Fleming


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