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Community Notes

DISCOVERING THE KEY TO STARTING LENT RIGHT

Lent is fast approaching, which means soon enough we’ll be hearing about nothing but deserts for forty days at Mass, writes Christian Bergmann in the Melbourne Catholic.

A lot of people struggle with Lent – they struggle to make it a fruitful time, finding it to be a depressingly mediocre affair, a pointless 40 days of giving up the same things they did last year.

It doesn’t leave them changed – just annoyed and then relieved when Easter finally dawns. But that relief has very little to do with the resurrection of Jesus if we’re being honest.

How do we make Lent different? How do we go deeper, go further, and make it a spiritually rich time? We could start with the three traditional practices of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We could focus more on the doing of things and raise the stakes. But we’re not going to do that.

Just stop for a second. Take a breath.

Maybe we jump out of the gate too soon. Maybe we launch into the practices that are supposed to take us deeper, but we haven’t laid the groundwork to ensure they do take us deeper.

In which case, we need to do some heart-work first. We need to do some deep self-reflection.

What if we saw Lent not primarily as a time of personal sacrifice, but as a time in which God is trying to court us, to win our hearts? As a time where he is trying to get us to know him, in the most intimate way possible? As a time that is about God and not about us? How would that change our approach?

If we want to start Lent right maybe we should take a step back. Become aware of how God is using this time to win our hearts. And then reflect, and reflect deeply, on what is preventing us from going deeper or becoming more intimate with the Lord.

To read the full article published by Christian Bergmann in the Melbourne Catholic, please click here.

ASH WEDNESDAY – 2 MARCH 2022

This week the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

The theme of Project Compassion 2022 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good that we do today will extend and impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. Each class will receive a Project Compassion box and/or a set of envelopes for their donations, or you can donate online via the Caritas Australia website.