It seems like ordinary time has just begun with the end of the Christmas season only a few weeks ago, and yet we find ourselves already to enter the season of Lent, with Ash Wednesday only about two weeks away.
Ash Wednesday opens the season of Lent with the sacramental sign of applying ashes to oneself. This spiritual practice of public penance traces back to numerous passages of the Scriptures, where a sinner would cloth his body with sackcloth and cover himself with ashes.(e.g. Jonah 3:5-6, Jeremiah 6:26)
The liturgical practice of placing ashes on the forehead during Lent has been traced back as far as the eighth century, accompanied by various forms of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
During this season, the Lord calls us all to return to Him with our whole hearts. In the Old Testament, many tore their clothing as a sign of repentance. However, one can tear cloth without truly changing and opening his heart to the Lord. It is that later act that the Lord truly wants.
It is important to remember that the Lord is full of mercy and abounding in love. When we sincerely turn from sin and return to Him, we will find in Him everything we need to walk in His ways, to serve Him and our brothers and sisters and to bring Christ’s love to the world.
As Knights, we are in a position to show His love in a special way through our various charitable activities. I invite all Catholic men in the parish to join us and make a difference in the parish, the community and the hearts of God’s people. If you feel you don’t have enough time, consider the following:
- 12 hours a year reading the weekly parish bulletin, the state and local council newsletters, Columbia magazine, or surfing the state council and Supreme Council Web sites.
- 2 hours a year volunteering at the council’s annual drive for people with intellectual disabilities.
- 2 hours a year attending, with your family, two council corporate Communions (Mass) or prayer services at the parish.
- 2 hours a year on a council-sponsored Church, community, council family or youth project of your choosing.
- 2 hours a year attending one council meeting.
- 4 hours a year enjoying with your family a council social function such as a dinner, dance, picnic, etc.
That is only an average of two hours per month, but it can make a huge difference in the life of your family, the parish and the community.