The Preperation for Easter

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Repent, and believe in the good news.
(Mark 1:15)

This post makes two within two days, and I can’t promise this will be the new normal, but I wanted to talk about Lent and the preparation for Easter.

Easter is the high point of our faith.  Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then defeated death by rising from the dead.  We say this every Sunday in mass in the Apostles or Niacene creed.

One of the things that is required for Catholics during Lent is fasting.  We must fast on Ash Wednesday (however it is not a holy day of obligation!) and Good Friday.  We must also refrain from eating meat on those days and on Fridays during Lent.  Pope Paul VI wrote in 1966, “Therefore the Church—while it reaffirms the primacy of the religious and supernatural values of penitence (values extremely suitable for restoring to the world today a sense of the presence of God and of His sovereignty over man and a sense of Christ and His salvation)—invites everyone to accompany the inner conversion of the spirit with the voluntary exercise of external acts of penitence.”

In addition to fasting, we generally give some up to make us into a better person.  When we’re young children, it is usually something like chocolate for candy, but as we grow older, I challenge all of us to deny ourselves and follow him. (Cf. Matthew 16:24).  Trying giving up something for Lent that is going to challenge you.  For me, I’m going to stop using my social media and quit drinking carbonated drinks.  These are two things that I indulge in too much, and it results in time wasted.

In addition though, we should spend this time trying to better ourselves and make us prepared for the second coming.  As I wrote back in Advent, none of us are ready for Jesus to come again, so we must work to prepare ourselves for him.  We know not the day nor the hour (Cf Matthew 25:13).

In addition, we should have a goal for Lent.  My goal is discernment, what is Jesus calling for me to do?  How can I become closer to him?  Try and think of some goals for yourself as you prepare yourself for Easter.

Another Lenten goal is for me to do more consistant writing on here.  What sort of topics would you like me to write about?  Comment or email me (don’t Tweet me for now!) and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

I would like to close in prayer:

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my prayer
during this holy Season of Lent.
By the good works You inspire,
help me to discipline my body
and to be renewed in spirit.

Without You I can do nothing.
By Your Spirit help me to know what is right
and to be eager in doing Your will.
Teach me to find new life through penance.
Keep me from sin, and help me live
by Your commandment of love.
God of love, bring me back to You.
Send Your Spirit to make me strong
in faith and active in good works.
May my acts of penance bring me Your forgiveness,
open my heart to Your love,
and prepare me for the coming feast
of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Lord, during this Lenten Season,
nourish me with Your Word of life
and make me one
with You in love and prayer.

Fill my heart with Your love
and keep me faithful to the Gospel of Christ.
Give me the grace to rise above my human weakness.
Give me new life by Your Sacraments, especially the Mass.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp Your hand;
let me walk more readily in Your ways.
Guide me in Your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do Your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old life of sin
to the new life of grace.
Prepare me for the glory of Your Kingdom.
I ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever.

Amen.

(From Catholic.com)

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