You Are Dust

Dear friends,
“Remember man, you are dust and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19) Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the holy season of Lent. Let us make this Lent the best Lent of our lives.
“Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God?” (Joel 2:12-14) How far have we allowed our hearts to drift away from Almighty God? In the Old Testament, we read of people rending their garments, such as when the High Priest was trying Jesus. “Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priests rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy:” (Matthew 26:64-65) Instead of tearing up our garments, it is time to rend our hearts, and ask God to come in and change them. How many of us have been lukewarm until now in fulfilling the will of God? “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Apocalypse 3:15-16) The Holy Ghost here compares the lukewarm to vomit. It should be a disgusting thought, especially when we are not on fire with the love of God and ready to go into battle for Him as a member of the Church Militant.
And what will happen to the lukewarm, when the next bloody persecution comes? We are not ready for persecution, and yet it could be near, even at the door. This Lent we need to get serious about being Catholic. Being a Catholic is more than simply calling our self Catholic. We are part of the Church Militant; part of God’s army. The harvest is great, but the laborers are none. (Matthew 9:37) God is calling some who read this to go out into the fields and bring them in. The rest of us God is calling to support them, not just with our prayers and penances, but also with actual support materially. God is calling all of us to sacrifices.
Lent is more than a time to attend to our own spiritual needs, although this is essential at all times. Lent is also a time to work with the Household of the Faith. (Galatians 6:10)
Let us heed the advice of Jesus: “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.” (Matthew 6:17-18) Instead, let us spread cheer as Saint Peter (I Peter 3:15) said: “But sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you.” Yes, we must have hope, especially hope for eternal salvation. Yes, Lent is a time of fasting, and We ask you to review the fast laws.
Lent is next a time of spiritual spring cleaning. It is a time to look at our lives and to see where we need to make changes for the better. We have often prescribed two practices, tracking how we use our time for a week and how we use our money for a month. How many of us are wasting our time and money, showing we hold our own pleasures more important that Almighty God, our own families, etc.
And then Lent is time to get with our fellow soldiers in the Church Militant and work together to spread the good news of salvation to others, as well as to bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
During, this holy season, We also ask prayers for our project. We are working now to assemble the clergy in order to make more concrete plans.
And so this Lent, let us pray and ask God to come into our hearts and remove all that is not of Him from our hearts.
+Michael pp

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