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Lent I

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Lent began, and then everything went white and cold and Christmassy by Friday. Still, Spring waits in the wings. So do innumerable graces for those who do something for the soul, some sacrifice for a spiritual life, something to permit new life and growth. This is Lent.

Most of you do not come for ashes at the start of Lent. Still, there were enough souls at each Mass so as not to make it entirely discouraging. Fr. McGuire kindly offered two Masses—that’s called binating—for your convenience. Nevertheless, I’m always impressed each Ash Wednesday to see people I don’t even know, maybe from another group or even Novus Ordo, who come for ashes. Very edifying, and maybe they’ll come back. Thank God for the devout souls who do come back, even several times a week!

This Friday, the All Night Adoration calls in addition to the Mass, Stations and Novenas. Pete Gebel was a regular for years at Adoration, but disappeared in November. It seems he was too sick to answer our many phone calls, checking on him. I thought he was out of town. But his brother called last week, and Father will visit him. Keep him in your prayers. He’s doing very poorly.

Of course, your prayers for Fr. Cekada are appreciated, and I can see their good effects. I’m also learning a lot about stroke, and caring for a stroke patient. It’s not all that different from the spiritual care of souls, I think. People get forgetful, fall sometimes, try to do too much, and then neglect the basics. You are blessed to have priests to be your caregivers. Pray for them all, but remember your basics, or you’ll never get better.

Lent is a time, the Liturgy tells us, to increase, by God’s grace, in health of soul and body. Jesus Christ is our Healer, our Doctor, our constant Helper and Friend, sent by the Father to be always with us. Cooperate! Work the program (as they say) this Lent, and the program will work for you.

Did you see the President’s Ash Wednesday message? I was pleasantly surprised to read such a White House missive in today’s world. Its tone was dignified and respectful, and the contents were correct, liturgical even. You’d never get that from Bergoglio!

Read the anti-anxiety “message from Jesus” (who even beats Trump) in today’s bulletin, especially if you’re troubled by that Chinese bug, or a falling stock market, or anything else. Not too much good is done in an agitated soul. True growth comes in calm. Jesus Christ and His Mother bestow it.

But don’t forget good St. Joseph. Today we open his month. Put March under his patronage. Ask him for generosity and stability this Lent. He will keep you close to Jesus and Mary.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph assist you!

– Bishop Dolan

P.S. Originally, nobody used to eat anything in Lent until Vespers (evening prayer) were said. In time, Vespers would follow the morning Mass, and the people would follow the Vespers. Join our schoolboys who chant the daily Vespers with us. Translations provided. It’s the Church’s daily Thanksgiving prayer.