This weekend we begin the great spiritual journey into Lent. Not long ago, each of you should have received a Lenten mailing from us. In it contains many opportunities for you to renew yourself and grow in the Spirit of Christ. I hope you read carefully some of these materials and try to deepen your connection to God. The reward is always great! Three opportunities I would like to mention specifically are: 1) Our Friday evening Soup Supper and Stations of the Cross with Benediction. Each Friday we will have simple meal followed by different versions of the stations in alternating parishes to help us walk with our Lord and be strengthened in carrying our cross. 2) We have a book study program called “Decision Point.” This is an adult Dynamic Catholic program put together by Geralyn Nathe-Evans, our Faith Formation Director. Geralyn will guide you over the course of several sessions through Matthew Kelly’s book. Please check our website under “Faith Formation” then click on “Lenten Opportunities” to learn more. Either that or simply call Geralyn at our parish office. 3) Finally, we have our St. Paul and St. Peter Lenten Retreat entitled: “God’s Reign/Rain.” This will be a 4 hour long adult retreat directed by Fr. Al Stangl held on Wednesday, March 4th starting with Mass at 8:15 am and going to 12:15 pm at St. Paul Church. It will conclude with the Anointing of the Sick and a soup lunch. Hopefully you can join us!
One last note, over the course of Lent I would like to give a short meditation by various spiritual authors just to feed your soul. This one is entitled: “Meeting Jesus in the Heart.” The mystery of the spiritual life is that Jesus desires to meet us in the seclusion of our own heart, to make his love known to us there, to free us from our fears and to make our own deepest self, known to us. In the privacy of our heart, therefore, we can learn not only to know Jesus, but through Jesus, ourselves as well! Each time you let the love of God penetrate deeper into your heart, you lose a bit of your anxiety, and every time you shed a bit of anxiety, you learn to know yourself better and long all the more to be known by your loving God. Thus, the more you learn to love God, the more you learn to know and cherish yourself. Self-knowledge and self-love are the fruit of knowing and loving God…. In the seclusion of our hearts we learn to know the hidden presence of God; and with that spiritual knowledge we can lead a loving life. “Jesus, I open my heart to find your presence within me!” (Henri Nouwen)