Prayer for Monday, February 24th, 2020
LEADER: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Good morning and welcome back from the winter break. The special Church season of Lent begins today, on Clean Monday, if you are Ukrainian Catholic and on Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, if you are a Latin Rite Catholic. Lent is a period of forty days where we prepare to be baptized or to renew our baptismal promises. In other words, Lent is a season where we say no to anything that would lead us away from Jesus and yes to anything that would lead us closer to Jesus. A person doesn't have to be baptized to do that.
The Church encourages us to do four main things during Lent to draw closer to Jesus: to fast, to pray, to repent and to give alms. Fasting means going without certain things. Adults fast from food so that they learn that food is a gift from God, to be thankful to God for it, and to be aware that many people around the world go without food every day. Children aren't asked to fast from food but perhaps there are other things you could fast from such as playing video games or watching t.v. There is nothing wrong with either video games or t.v. but sometimes they can become more important to us than God. Fasting from them helps us remember that God should be at the centre of our lives.
Prayer helps us to keep God at the centre of our lives and during Lent, we are asked to pray more often. If you say a prayer at bed time, maybe during Lent you could also say one when you get up in the morning.
Penance which means making up for the things we have done wrong also helps us to keep God at the centre of our lives. Penance reminds us that we need God's help and strength to do the right thing. Perhaps this Lent we could become more aware of how we hurt God and others by the things we do or say and we could ask God and others for forgivness.
Giving alms is the final way that we can keep God at the centre of our lives this Lent. Alms means helping the poor. In Matthew's gospel, Jesus calls those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked and visit the sick, blessed. Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the one of the least of our brothers and sisters, we do it to him. This Lent let us do what we can to help those who are the least in Jesus' family. Let us pray.
LEADER: Loving God,
Please help us to have a good Lent. Guide us during these forty days as we fast, pray, do penance and give alms so that we may keep you at the centre of our lives. We make our prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.