Lent Begins February 26 - Ash Wednesday - Use This Time to Prepare

Lent Begins February 26 - Ash Wednesday  -Use This Time to Prepare

 

                                                                             

                                                                                 

               


Lent begins on February 26, Ash Wednesday. 

Below is Bishop Schlerts's Lenten Pastoral Letter for 2020 


 

 

 

   My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

   As  another  Lenten  Season  unfolds  for  us,   I  would

   like  to  reflect  upon  something  that  is impacting our

   Church  and  society  greatly:  Anger. 

 

  It  seems  everywhere  we  look,  we  see  expressions of anger.   Anger in

  and  at  the Church;  anger  in  and  at  Washington;  anger  in  and  among

  nations;  anger in families;  anger  in  social  media.  In  my  travels around

  the   Diocese,  I  often    hear    many    who    are   concerned    about   the 

  coarseness in our society.

 

  Perhaps  during  this  Lenten  Season,  a  good  way  for  us to reflect upon

  the   anger  in   our  lives   and  in   society  is   to   do  an  examination   of

  conscience   based  on  that very popular Lenten devotion, The Stations of

  the Cross.  In  these  fourteen  stops  along  the  way of Our Lord’s Passion

  and  Death,  we  see an  example of  patience  and  suffering  combined  in

  one total act of selfless love. 

 

     The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

  •      In my own speech, do I in anger condemn another and quickly draw  

        conclusions about a person’s motives and intentions?

 

     The Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross

  •     When I have a heavy burden placed on me, justly or unjustly, do I

       react with anger, blame, retribution, or avoidance?

    

     The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time      

  •      Do I take delight in another’s misfortune out of the anger I feel for

        him or her?

 

    The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

  •     When trial and sorrow come into my life, do I react with anger, blaming

       God or others for my testing, or do I seek to be compassionate and

       accepting of the situation over which I have no control?

 

    The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

  •     Does anger overcome me when asked to do something or circumstances

       demand that I get involved, preferring rather to watch from a comfortable

       distance, resentful that I have been asked to contribute my time, talent,

      or treasure?

 

     The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

  •      Does my anger keep me from showing compassion, especially if I have

        experienced a lack of compassion from someone else?

 

     The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

  •     Am I patient with myself when I make the same mistake again, or do I

       become angry with my lack of perfection and give up?

 

     The Eighth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

  •      Does my anger lead me to be hardened to the plight of others, convincing

        myself that somehow they are to blame for their situation and therefore

        absolving myself of any charity toward them?

 

     The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls a Third Time

  •      Do I create an angry standard in my mind of what persons are worthy of

        being helped based on my own prejudices and misconceptions?

 

     The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes

  •      In my anger, do I strip someone of his or her dignity or good name by

        what I say about them, what I post on social media, or how I act

        toward them?

 

     The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

  •      How does my interior anger disfigure my soul and nail my humanity to

        the cross of hatred, arrogance, and selfishness?

 

     The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

  •      Does my anger rage to the point that I see another person as

        irredeemable or without the human dignity of one created by God

        and saved by the Blood of Christ?

 

     The Thirteenth Station: The Body of Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

  •      Do I show respect for the human person or do I judge another as an

        object of my anger or to be used in a selfish way?

 

     The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

  •      In my anger, do I emotionally bury a family member, friend, co-worker,

        or classmate by treating them as if they are “dead to me,” shutting

        them out of my life with no intention of reconciling with him or her?

 

The anger we sense in the world today is real and powerful. It is not easily rooted

out, especially if we see the cause in someone else. This Lent, I ask myself and all

the faithful to look inwardly to see how the anger in the world is really rooted in our

personal anger, and seek to be reconciled with Our Lord and with those from whom

we are estranged.


Psalm 34 tells us,

                                   Calm your anger and forget your rage;
                                        do not fret, it only leads to evil.

                                     For those who do evil shall perish;
                                      the patient shall inherit the land.

 

May God grant all of the peace and forgiveness of a Lenten Season truly lived well

so that the Love of Christ will wash over us, bring us to be forgiven and inspire us

by His forgiveness to forgive. 

 

                                                                                                         Sincerely yours in Christ,

                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                               Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert
                                                                                                                   Bishop of Allentown