Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Preparation is work, but we usually do it because of the reward it brings. When someone is coming over to dinner, we make the house clean and welcoming in addition to preparing the food. This ensures we have a good, relaxing time with someone we love and admire. To get a job we want, preparation takes years of study and tests in order to obtain, perhaps, a degree that would make us more appealing to an employer. If we want to win at a sport, we prepare throughpractice, refining what it takes to do it better.
The spiritual life is no different. If we want to do it right, if we want to “win,” we must prepare. So it’s wonderful that Holy Mother Church gives us an entire season – Lent – to help us evaluate our spiritual lives, looking for ways to refine and do it all better for God and our neighbor. But before Lent arrives, we must prepare so that we know what needs improvement, exactly what we should pray about and work on in our spiritual lives in order to do it better and love more.
Next week Ash Wednesday will herald the beginning of the holy season of Lent, our annual opportunity to go deeper. To help us prepare well, we are offering a Pre-Lenten retreat lead by two dynamic Sisters, Sr. Magdalena and Sr. Mary Avila, from the Dominican congregation of Mary, Mother of theEucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The mission will be Monday – Thursday, February 25-28 at 6:30pm in Old St. Mary’s.
Would you like to meet the Dominican Sisters? Who wouldn’t! Come meet Sr. Magdalena and Sr. Mary Avila at a meet and greet reception on Monday, February 25, 1:00-2:30pm in Saint Michael Hall (in the south/right-hand wing of the new church).
Prepare yourself for our Ash Wednesday Masses on March 6. Please note the location for each Mass: 7:00am – Old St. Mary’s (no music); 12:00 noon – church (school will join us!); 5:30pm – church; 7:00pm en español (Old St. Mary’s).
Why do all this preparation? Simply put, we do this to accomplish the final goal of life: to become holy and to go to heaven. Yes, the purpose of life is that wonderfully simple. Of course, we should do our best to help lead others to heaven as well. So, what are we living for? To earn a little money? Tohave a little comfort? To lose ourselves in worldly entertainments? They won’t give us true, lasting happiness, and we know it. All the Saints discovered this in their lives, and so they made the courageous decision to take the narrow path, the path of self-denial, for the sake of the Kingdom. Why? Because they knew that this path leads to heaven, leads to God, who is our final and only true happiness. Becoming holy is really a call to be a leader. It takes preparation and hard work, but the rewards are far beyond our imagining.
Let us pray for each other,