Lent calls us to a change of heart

February 4, 2008

by Father Bill Sprigler, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Winsted

This Wednesday, we start the season of Lent. I don’t care what you say, I do not like Lent, but I love Jesus.

I am quite comfortable with my life and I do not like to be inconvenienced by the thought that I have to change, i.e. die to self, but I love Jesus.

I am a fat man and I do not want to fast, and I am not sure that I want to share my time and my talents with anyone either, but, oh yes, I just love Jesus.

I honor God the Father, and I just know that I am blessed by the Holy Spirit, but I am not sure that you are. It is good to be so holy!!

And then, I have to deal with the death of a friend and I begin to think of my own end in this life, and then the beginning of my eternal life.

Oh my, I had better change, and change now.

When I was a child in Spearfish, S.D., the nuns used to come to teach us catechism on Saturday. One of my teachers was a wise old woman named St. Rita O.S.B.

She asked the children not to give up anything for Lent, but rather, take on an act of love of neighbor – visit a sick person, do the dishes, clean up the yard, be kind and loving to younger children, etc. I believe that was, and is good advice.

We are called to repentance and a change of heart, and so we pray:

“Eternal God, continue to purify our hearts through fasting, prayer, words, and works of kindness in the days of Lent.

“May we fast from discontent and feast on gratitude.

"May we fast from anger and feast on patience.

"May we fast from bitterness and feast on forgiveness.

"May we fast from self-concern and feast on compassion for others and their needs.

"May we fast from discouragement and feast on hope.

"May we fast from laziness and feast on commitment.

"May we fast from suspicion and feast on truth.

"May we fast from guilt and feast on mercy of our loving and living God.

“We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Eternal Word, who showed us the way by his birth, life, death, and resurrection.”

As we enter into these days of Lent 2008, on behalf of Holy Trinity parish and the area faith community of St. Boniface in Stewart and St. Anastasia in Hutchinson, I wish you the peace of Christ, the blessings of the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

I also wish to take this opportunity to welcome you to our parish mission, which will run from Saturday, Feb. 16 through Thursday, Feb. 21. The Receptionist Fathers will he in charge of this mission, which is part of the Diocese of New Ulm’s 50th year celebration.