Lent 101

Posted on March 6, 2019 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Experts Cut to the Chase to Clear the Confusion

No better time than today, Ash Wednesday 2019, when we kick off Lent to admit these 40 days of prayer, alms and fasting can be confusing.  After all, what does giving up Skittles, smokes or meat have to do with Easter and our mission here at Catholic Charities NY of providing help and hope to those in need?

Catholic Charities NY Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, in the first of his 2019 Lenten reflections series, answers this simply: 

 “Let’s not waste our time on superficial Lenten practices that fail to touch our hearts,” he says. “Let’s take on and carry out those practices, penances and deeds in a way that opens up our hearts in three directions – to ourselves, to one another and to our God.” 

For further clarification, we were also able to catch up today with our Catholic Charities Bronx Regional Director Fr. Eric Cruz. To start his homily to parishioners and the students of St Philip Neri School, one of many Lenten Masses and Services he offered throughout the day, Fr Cruz asked. “What’s your favorite snack or food?”

Following a long list of sweet answers, one third grader said, “Skittles!” 

“I loved Skittles, flavorful, and super sweet; you just can’t have one,” Father responded.

“Many of us have a favorite sin, such as the little white lie, or a difficult relationship that we don’t want to address. Much like the Skittles bag, we’re comfortable keeping someone at arms’ distance, ignoring the damage done to our relationship with God…

“When we give alms or offer generous acts, we should give something of ourselves, something that really costs us soulfully and personally” he said. “After all, Jesus already gave the greatest alms; he gave himself for us.”

That’s a lot to take in on Lent Day 1.  For more inspiration, check out Msgr. Sullivan’s JustLove blog for his reflections and prayers every Sunday morning

Let’s walk through Lent together!

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