By Kathy Gaito
Prayer, fasting and almsgiving (assisting the needy) are synonymous with the Lenten season which this year began on March 6, Ash Wednesday. While these Lenten practices are a way for us to reconnect with our spiritual relationship with God, they should also be viewed as a stepping stone for us to continue to grow in faith throughout the year. When we decide to continue on our Lenten journey even after our Easter celebrations have come to a close, we strengthen our connection to God and others.
Make time in your day to pray a few minutes longer when possible. Even if it’s been awhile since you talked to God, He wants to hear from you. Think about how happy you feel when you reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen in years. There’s no better friend than God…He will always be there for you. Include people you don’t personally know in your prayers. Pray for the ministries in our Diocese and the people they serve is an ideal way to walk “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children”!
During Lent we experience fasting and abstinence based on the teachings of the Church. In addition, from early childhood we are encouraged to ‘give up’ something for Lent. Rather than viewing this ‘giving up’ something as a chore, you can easily make it a positive act. Purchase food for a local food pantry from the money you would have spent on the item(s) you are ‘giving up’. Better yet, ‘give back’ by volunteering your time in your parish, with a Diocesan ministry, or with a community organization allowing you to join “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children”!
This year’s Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA), “Hand in Hand with All God’s Children”, is about joining together with others to help those in need. Through your donations to the ACA you invest in the communities of our Diocese helping to make a better life for many. Your gifts allow our ministries and programs to fulfill their missions. In many ways, when we join with others, we also find that we help ourselves. Stewardship is a way for us to share the gifts we have been given; however, we may discover that we gain so much more.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
– (Matthew 6:19-21)