A reflection by Fr. Jaime
On Wednesday, February 14, the Lenten season begins. I remember that as a family during Lent, the meals my mother cooked changed. Some Lent meals were dried apricots, dry shrimp and “capirotada.” (Spanish pronunciation: [kapiɾoˈtaða]), is a traditional Mexican food similar to a bread pudding that is usually eaten during the Lenten period (comida de cuaresma). It is one of the dishes served on Good Friday (Definition taken from google).
The beginning of Lent which is a special time of conversion and penance, is marked by the ash that is placed on the head while we are told: "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return." Or "Repent and believe in the Gospel".
It is very important that all Christians enter to live the Lenten season with a spirit of penance, or "metanoia" which means to become more aware of one's sin and demonstrate repentance through a sincere conversion. The conversion to be true must be sustained by our will and by the grace of God that is acquired by praying and by rejecting everything sinful that drives God away from our lives.
Three practices should mark our Lenten practices: Prayer, fasting and detachment of materials things. Prayer should be done with the heart and at all times and in all places. It is to constantly raise our thoughts to God, to speak with God, to listen to him and to live constantly in his presence. Fasting consists of seeking and desiring more spiritual food and abstaining from many things that although not bad, they distract us from our Lenten exercises. Like too much noise, parties, and the immoderate diversion or entertainment. Through the detachment of things, we become aware of the pain and suffering of the poorest and share with them. All material things and money is a means, not an end. And we can not and should not be indifferent to the needs of others. It is our duty to help them. But we must always remember that Jesus said: "Do not do good so that others may see you" (Mt 4: 1). Jesus tells us that we should not draw attention, but do these practices in the secret of our heart and under the gaze of God. One day, God will judge us all, and that is when these things will come to light. And they will be the reason for our salvation. Have a good Lent.
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Saint Thomas Aquinas
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