03-14-2021The Pastor's PenFr. Matthew R. Paratore, S.T.L., J.C.L.
Lent is a time of refreshment and renewal. The word “Lent” comes from the old English, “lencten," which means spring. Lent is meant to be a "springtime" for the church. In Lent we participate in works of charity, prayer, and penance. Oftentimes people give up something in Lent and this is certainly a laudable practice. However, it is also good to do more prayer, more works of charity, etc.
It is also a time to examine our conscience to see where we need God's help and forgiveness. Consider giving up these things, for the rest of your life:
Fear: God is on my side. In Him I am more than a conqueror. (See Romans 98)
The need to please everyone: I can’t please everyone anyway. There is only one I need to strive to please.
Envy: I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
Impatience: God’s timing is the perfect timing.
Sense of entitlement: The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
Bitterness and Resentment: The only person I am hurting by holding onto these is myself.
Blame: I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
Gossip and Negativity: I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic and bring other people down.
Comparison: I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
Fear of failure: You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fall forward.
A spirit of poverty: Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack.
Feelings of unworthiness: You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
Doubt: Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
Self-pity: God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
Retirement: As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die.
Excuses: A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
Lack of counsel: Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
Pride: Blessed are the humble.
Worry: God is in control and worrying will not help.