Saturday, February 27, 2021

My latest column: “The Interior Priorities of Lent”


The Interior Priorities Of Lent

February 25, 2021


A man called recently to request a Baptism for a newborn. I couldn’t recognize his name, beating my brain to recall him as I did. I certainly did not remember him and his family attending Sunday Mass, even before COVID. To my chagrin, I explained to him that we aren’t like addicts, attending Mass for six months in order to get a child baptized, but unsure what we are going to do about our faith afterward.
More people email rather than call in their orders for sacraments. “How do I sign up for the baptismal class?” they ask. The “baptismal class” in my parish is Sunday Mass. Until death.
Yes, many bishops have suspended the obligation to attend Holy Mass. But this is while people are doing many other potentially risky things, such as going on airplane flights — not all airlines block middle seats. If we believe the Lord who offers Himself in Word and Sacrament in the Mass is number one, we must be willing to take some measure of risk, as we always have, to act on our convictions.
Lent is recommitment to our baptismal promises. Lent is the great penitential season of the Church because, through it, we prepare for the greatest celebration and reality of the Resurrection of the Lord which began with the grace of Baptism. Don’t get dissipated in distractions. There are so many today, however. How does one choose? It’s a matter of priorities: give time and attention to putting first things first.

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