because they "believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth....When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out."Sackcloth was scratchy and uncomfortable. It was a penance, a discipline to wear that instead of smoother, lighter clothing. When Jesus spoke about fasting and doing penance, he cautioned people to make it "low key" that is not to show off. God is the one we are doing this work for. "Do not look gloomy like the hypocrites." Wash your faces, be well groomed so you don't look like you are starving! We might put on a modern twist to this advice. Fast, yes. Fast from a critical attitude; fast from too many words; fast from wasting time in scrolling through websites just out of curiosity. If you prefer to go on-line check out one of the religious sites. Our Sisters at www.pauline.org offer reflections, newsletters and prayers to give you a spiritual uplift. Father Robert Barron has a free spiritual guide for every day in Lent. One site that I use everyday is by the Irish Jesuits: Creighton University offers free daily reflections, and even an on-line retreat. http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/cmo-retreat.html The Internet has many free spiritual resources to help us remember God in our daily lives.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Lenten Check Up
How is your Lent going? Fridays of Lent for us who are Catholic are meant to have a keener focus on Christ. These Fridays are an invitation to check on what we proposed to do, or to avoid as our Lenten practice. Or, our Lenten penance. The purple vestments and altar covers in our churches stand for penance. In the book of Jonah, God spared the people of Nineveh