Now that we have begun our annual pilgrimage of prayer, penance and works of mercy, I want to remind you of the significance of these three marks of Lent. First, while prayer is identified as the first mark of Lent it should be pointed out that penance and works of mercy are prayers as well. Prayer unites us with God. As a way of enhancing your prayer life this Lent consider attending the Stations of the Cross on Fridays at 7:00 pm. As a sign of our solidarity, join the Catholic Daughters fora simple soup supper at 5:30 pm on Fridays.
Penance is the second mark of Lent. When we ask, “What are you giving up for Lent?” we make a reference to this second mark of the season. Some deprive themselves of chocolate or sweets. Others give up Facebook or other forms of social media during Lent. I heard of a man who chose not to shower throughout Lent… which created penance for all the rest of us, too!
Finally, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy should increase in this season. The Corporal Works of Mercy include: feeding the hungry; giving drink to the thirsty; clothing the naked; sheltering the homeless; visiting the sick and imprisoned; ransoming the captive; and burying the dead. The Spiritual Works of Mercy include: instructing the ignorant; correcting sinners; advising the doubtful; showing patience to sinners and those in error; forgiving others; comforting the afflicted; and praying for the living and dead.