Pastor’s Postcard – Lent, Purification, and Enlightenment

Sunday February 18, 2024

Lent, Purification and Enlightenment

The season of Lent offers us forty days of grace to prepare for the glory of Easter.  The disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving can help us Return with All Our Heart: prayer returns us to God, fasting assists us in reaching equilibrium or balance within ourselves, and almsgiving returns us to others by the reconciliation that comes through justice and mercy.  We can return to purity or simplicity of heart by fasting from the superficial noise that surrounds us and returning to our deepest center through prayer.  Quiet the mind and open the heart!

Last week we sent our Catechumens and Candidates to the Bishop for the Rite of Election.  They are now called the Elect.  Lent is a period of more intense spiritual preparation for them through interior reflection intended to purify their minds and hearts as they search their own consciences and do penance.  Our parish Lenten Penance Service will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20th.  This period is intended as well to enlighten the minds and hearts of the elect with a deeper knowledge of Christ the Savior.  The rites, particularly the scrutinies and the presentations we celebrate at the 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. Sunday liturgies, are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good.

The season of Lent is not only a time of spiritual recollection for the Elect as they prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery at Easter, but for our entire faith community.  We, with the Elect, are called to follow Christ with greater generosity.

Please pray for our Elect and Candidates, those who will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church here at Saint Joachim through the sacraments of Christian initiation this Easter. 

Rev. Robert P. Capone