Lent 2023: Thoughts on the True Lenten Spirit from Fr. Fullerton
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
With Lent approaching, I would like to share some thoughts with you from Archbishop Lefebvre on the true Lenten spirit:
The faithful who have a true spirit of faith and who profoundly understand the motives of the Church…will wholeheartedly accomplish not only the light prescriptions of today but, entering into the spirit of Our Lord and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will endeavor to make reparation for the sins which they have committed and for the sins of their family, their neighbors, friends and fellow citizens.
The best means for us to make that reparation are those given to us by Our Lord in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 6. There, Our Lord tells us to take our prayers to God our Father in secret. Especially in the middle of all the world’s uncertainty, what better way to find peace than to communicate with God, the only One who can truly calm our fears and bring us peace?
In the same passage, Christ talks about fasting and almsgiving accompanying prayer. Fasting is typically associated with abstaining from food, but it can also mean giving up other comforts or entertainment. Regardless of its form, fasting means giving up something good for the greater good, disciplining the body to better subject the soul to the grace of God.
Almsgiving, the third means, is often recommended in Scripture. It is considered so important that the Apostles, in Acts 6, appointed seven deacons, including St. Lawrence, to fulfill that charitable work for those who needed it among the early Christians.
Giving alms has always been an essential part of Lent. It is a response to Our Lord’s teaching to help those in need. That help does not need to be restricted to money but can include the charitable use of our time and talents to assist others.
Lent is an opportune time to cultivate a spirit of generosity and share what we have and who we are. Entering this holy season, I would encourage all of you to think about ways to be generous with who you are and what you have. Remember what we are told: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
In giving, please remember our priests, who take good care of you. We have been blessed with tremendous growth in the last few years; this would not have been possible without your generosity. The gifts you give to support our work also help the many souls in our care.
I wish you a fruitful Lent and the blessings of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Be assured of our prayers for you and your families during this important time of preparation for Easter.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Fr. John Fullerton
United States District Superior