By FR. TOM McHUGH
Nearly 60 years ago, during a retreat for school boys, a Jesuit Priest offered us the following guide for living: place an act, form a habit; form a habit, develop a character; develop a character, reach your destination.
Our destination is to be ‘fully human, fully alive’ – in the words of Jesus, ‘Be holy for the Lord your God is holy’. That is our vocation in life: to be the kind of person that God wants us to be – Saints.
Saints are people who have become friends of Jesus and learned from him good habits for living. This doesn’t come easy. It requires discipline and commitment. We can learn a lot from top sports men and women about developing good habits. They give long hours of practice to developing a perfect swing in golf or passing shot in tennis until the perfect pattern becomes part of who they are. Bad habits are replaced by good habits.
Lent is a time for developing good habits that replace bad habits. So I suggest that you make a list of three or four good habits that you would like to develop and begin or continue to practise throughout the period of Lent and beyond. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your choice. Then commit and be faithful and consistent. If you lapse, begin again.
The Gospel on this Ash Wednesday invites us to pray, fast, give alms. Begin with these. In addition prepare for Mass each Sunday by reading and pondering the scriptures in the newsletter insert.
Finally join a Lent reflection group that will be using Matthew Kelly’s ‘Rediscovering Catholicism’ as a resource. Contact the parish office for more information on this.
Have a grace-filled Lent.
If you would like to contribute to our Reflections blog – your view on events within the Parish or internationally, or anything relevant to the Catholic faith – email Rob Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org