Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”? That saying came to mind one morning as I thought about what I had planned for Lent this year. Among other things, I wanted to try to get to daily Mass more often. Now, because of the coronavirus pandemic, public Masses are cancelled in most places, including my own diocese.
So often we have our own ideas of what we should do for God. But our ways are not his ways (Isaiah 55:8). This Lent the Lord is asking me to let go of my own plans and surrender to his. That means staying at home, staying calm, and reaching out to people in love, even if it’s only by phone, text, or email.
This is a Lent I will never forget—and I suspect neither will you! Rarely are we freed up from so many daily commitments. Maybe we’ll have more time to sit with the Lord in prayer or to study Scripture. We may have time to enjoy our families more, to pray together, and to intercede for others. We can find creative ways to love our neighbors.
Above all, it’s a time to grow in trust. Remember that Lent is preparing us to celebrate the most momentous event in all of history: Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. We worship the risen Christ, the One who has already conquered sin and death. In him lies our hope. And even though many of us can’t receive Jesus in the Eucharist during this time, we know that he has not abandoned us. He is with us—always—and we can trust that he will bring good even out of this difficult situation (Matthew 28:20; Romans 8:28).
We want you to know that we have unlocked our magazine’s website so you can find many resources that can help you have a fruitful Lent. We are also offering a free booklet, Getting More Out of Lent, for you to download. Finally, for the next few weeks we will be posting articles with suggestions on how to cope with the current crisis.
May we all have a blessed Lent as God opens our hearts to receive even more of his never-ending love, mercy, and grace.