The Lenten Season has once again ushered in into our lives this year. It is a forty-day journey into our faith. The constant message for all of us as we enter this season is about prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Have we sincerely responded to these invitations? This is a kind of comprehensive question that only our hearts can answer.
Nevertheless, it serves as a challenge for us all. When we pray, we do not only ask that we be given strength to accomplish our tasks in the department; rather, when we pray, it is a childlike dialogue with the Father, wherein we pour things out, and in secret, to encounter Him who is love. Fasting is a form of self-denial, emptying oneself more deeply. In the words of Pope Francis, “it involves being freed from all that weighs us down—like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false.” But what about almsgiving? The past months after the devastation of typhoon Odette, and even in this prevailing time of the pandemic, we may have felt the great need and desire to share. In this way, we strive to strip ourselves of our selfish attachments to physical possessions and give to others, whether big or small as long as it is offered with simplicity and joy.
May this season of reflection bring us humility, just like Jesus who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).
Fr. Alfonso A. Araceli, SVD
Director, Basic Education Department