Following Up on Our Lenten Practices

May 11, 2022 | Spiritual Life

On Palm Sunday, we invited parishioners to share the fruit of their Lenten practices. In this invitation, we recalled Jesus’ words from Luke – “every tree is known by its fruit.” This sharing of the fruits of our Lenten practices would be a step toward building the desire for a spiritual connection that many expressed in the synodal listening sessions. The parishioners who shared their Lenten experiences demonstrated a genuine depth of commitment by their Lenten practices which included:

· Daily Mass attendance

· Regular devotional readings. These readings included selections from the daily devotional from the Basilica of the Nativity.

· Praying a daily scriptural rosary (10 Bible verses are provided for meditation on each decade of the rosary.

· Go Green for Lent practices.

· Praying for the Ukrainian and Russian peoples.

· Outreach to and from others – including a journey to Poland to help feed regugees from the Ukraine.

The fruits of these practices included:

· A sense of growing closer to God & Faith each day.

· A growing awareness of how little distractions can throw a person off their concentration.

· An ability to slow-down and focus more.

· Discovering new courage (by going to a country where one did not know the language) and trusting God and Mary to see one through.

· Noting that “little things do count” – including willingness to accept help when needed.

In his book The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, M. Scott Peck defined community as “a group of individuals who have learned how to communicate honestly with each other, whose relationships go deeper than their masks of composure, and who have some significant commitment to ‘rejoice together, mourn together,’ and to ‘delight in each other, make others’ conditions our own.” The practices of the parishioners who shared their Lenten practices demonstrate that a significant commitment to one’s spiritual life is present at Our Lady of Hope. Let’s continue to find opportunities to share with one another the fruits of this commitment and continue to build the welcoming, intergenerational, Christ-focused community we desire to be.

Fr. Brian Conley, SJ

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