Cayenne Catholics dream at 2nd Synod
March 6, 2020
2nd Sunday in Lent (A)
March 6, 2020

Change your tone for Lent, says bishop


In his Lenten message, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau said to a significant extent, Lenten exercises have become moments of entertainment. He said he has noticed with sadness the changes in the tone of the Lenten season over the past years; a tone, he said, which has become less conducive to reflection and introspection.

“Many Catholics today, especially the young, are not able [to] tell the difference between the season of Lent and Ordinary Time. The reason being that there is little change in the tenor of our observances that would speak to the special qualities of the Lenten season,” the Bishop said in his message.

The memoranda dated Sunday, March 1, sent to all clergy and religious working in the Diocese was to be read in Church.

This “change in tone” Bishop Malzaire said, is evident in the type of music we entertain at home and on the airwaves. Older folks would be quite aware that it was not so when they grew up. For them, Carnival Tuesday was the end of one modus operandi and Ash Wednesday ushered in a new, he said.

Bishop Malzaire then invited faithful to inculcate the following disciplines to assist in enhancing Lenten observance:

  1. Make greater use of moments of silence during liturgical celebrations and your prayer time;
  2. Listen to the teachings and Lenten programmes on the Dominica Catholic Radio;
  3. With the family, find time to pray and read the Scripture together.
  4. Make it a point to share what you learn and experience at retreats with your family, neighbours, co-workers and others;
  5. Try your utmost to create a peaceful and prayerful atmosphere at home, at work and in Church;
  6. Avail yourself to attend the Lenten exercises organised by your parish and vicariates: retreats, days of recollection, Bible sharing, penitential services, etc. to increase your faith, rejuvenate your spirit, draw you closer to God and make you a better witness for the Lord;
  7. Make greater use of the Lenten hymns provided in the Catholic Hymnal—they are rich and profound in meaning;
  8. Do some form of penance: fasting, abstinence, almsgiving, visit of the sick and shut-in or intense prayer for self and for others. Decide for yourself what form(s) you wish to embrace to prepare for the glorious celebration of Easter;
  9. Going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is an obligation for every Catholic Christian in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Getting to Easter without reconciliation is akin to saying to our Blessed Lord that He died for nothing. It has been said that “the shortest road to heaven is through the confessional.” It is indeed “a narrow road”—the road of humility and truth.