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Lent presents many opportunities – Mar 4

Lent presents many opportunities – Mar 4 PDF Print E-mail

Revitalising Catholic Culture and IdentityBy Vernon Khelawan

Lenten resolutions have traditionally been part of Catholic Lenten observances. So I imagine that today, a week and half into Lent, most Catholics have already decided what they would be doing for the remainder of the season.

While in the past many people tended to deny themselves of things in this period, in more recent times Catholics seem more inclined to pledge to do more positive acts, including attendance at Way of the Cross services, spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, visiting the sick and underprivileged and providing meals or foodstuff for poor families.

Lent is one time when the distinguishing marks of Catholic culture and identity are brought to the fore, as people often uncompromisingly and openly keep the Catholic Lenten traditions alive. Faithful attendance at Lenten retreats in our parish churches is another expression of our culture and identity.

While there is agreement that the fasting and abstinence components of our Lenten observances are not as stringent as in other religions, a large percentage of Catholics fully embrace this form of penance and stick steadfastly to its observance during the season. And while the abstinence part might be tough, (the price of fish being as high as it is), committed families make huge sacrifices to keep their abstinence pledges.

Against the backdrop of the Second Pastoral Priority – Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity – parish groups as well as individuals, should move to capitalise on the various opportunities that Lent offers to fulfil the goals of the Synod mandate. In this time all Church groups should make a special effort to develop programmes that will enhance our Catholic culture and identity.

I recall Monsignor Robert Llanos stressing that it is the task of Catholics in this Archdiocese to help families reclaim their Catholic Identity by living out more fully the call of their baptism by once again becoming “a school of life and love for their members”.

Lent opens that door. May we lovingly embrace it.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 March 2012 15:05