Friday, March 2, 2012

Signs of Lent

We see the same thing happen in Catholic churches around the country. Ash Wednesday comes and the church is transformed. The green that was decorating the church is changed to violet. Things are introduced that give a sense of the desert to represent Christ's 40 days in the desert. Perhaps we see empty crosses or crowns of thorns used in the decorating. Unfortunately, some places even remove their holy water during this penitential season. We can see the "symbols" of the season.

These symbols let us know that we are now in a new season, but they really don't mean much, unless we are changing for the season. How many of you have noticed signs of the season of Lent? Are the churches fuller as people take their faith seriously and participate in the Lenten observances offered at the parish? Has the daily Mass attendance gone up? Are people coming to pray the Stations of the Cross? Are the lines for confession longer than they have been? Do we see Catholics and other Christians doing more during this time to feed the poor, visit the sick or those in prison, releasing those unjustly imprisoned, and clothing the naked?

We can have all of the symbols of the season that we want, but what God wants is for us to change ourselves. What are you doing this Lent to bring about a real transformation?

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