By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/2/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
This Ash Wednesday, Catholics are invited to do something exceptional for Lent. We often make sacrifices that mean something to us, but we must take our faith a step further.
Young boy praying on Ash Wednesday.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - What are you doing to take your faith a step further this Lent? You may already be giving something up, and you may be pretty good about not eating meat of Friday, but ask yourself this: what are you doing that actually makes the world a better place?
We often make the mistake of celebrating Lent a bit selfishly. Think about it for a second. We give something up, maybe we pray a little more, but what else? What are we putting into the world that makes it a better place? Think about the difference we would make if we performed acts of charity during Lent instead of simply avoiding chocolate. Think about how much power we as Catholics could demonstrate if we all just did one charitable deed during Lent. Now literally pause, please, and think about this...
Typically our sacrifices benefit ourselves and hey, that's okay!
We lose weight during Lent, we save money, we change habits. Lenten sacrifices can do much more for us than even our New Year's resolutions, as they should.
However, we tend to become preoccupied with serving ourselves. We are militant about dodging sweets, finding a decent place to get fish on Friday, and we do a good job with those extra prayers, typically needed when we give up daily habits that have become part of our routines.
Yet, we're not called to sacrifice for just ourselves. We're called to do more, and to make sacrifices for others as well. Indeed, the recipe for making the world a better place is two-fold. First, we must work on ourselves, something we tend to do well with during Lent. The second part is to serve others.
Remember, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We too are called to do the same.
How? With busy lives and more distractions than ever, how are we to aid those most in need during times like these?
Again, the answer is simple. 'Prayer and Action'Â
First we need to pray because through prayer we tap into our spiritual strength to overcome temptation. This prayer is what makes the extraordinary possible. If you lack the willpower to keep your Lenten sacrifice, if you lack the time or the means to do more for Christ, it is through prayer that you will be transformed.
Prayer will open your mind to a Christ-like way of thinking. It will simplify your life and open possibilities that you never knew existed.
Once your mind is awakened with prayer and you become aware of your strength, you are tasked with taking action. This is the critical follow-through to changing yourself during Lent. It is also the part where you actually serve others, becoming like Christ washing the feet of his disciples.
Catholic Online's 'Catholic Team Global' is making this step easy for those who wish to do more this Lent by serving others. Everyone is invited to take the Catholic Team Global Lenten Pledge to buy food for the poor via our 'Prayer and Action' program.
The process is simple. Sign up below to take the pledge. Then, pray to ask what you can do. Finally, according to your means, act by following this link.
Although the act itself is simple, let us make no mistake that it is easy. It isn't easy, and it isn't meant to be. We know that each of you works hard to earn what you have. So when you donate, consider your labor as part of your sacrifice. When you work, and earn what you will donate, work with a prayerful mindset and understand that you are serving in the vineyard of the Lord.
Remember that your prayers are important too. It is by Praying and Acting that you will change the world, and also change yourself.
And isn't that really what Lent is all about?
Take the pledge now.
Click here to Pray and Act now!
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Happy birthday to the Catholic Church! Happy birthday to you, who are the body of the Church! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - We're all familiar with our own birthdays, and we celebrate them because they mark the day of the year in which we entered into this life. ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
We all love to celebrate Easter with brightly colored hard boiled eggs, candy, cute pictures of bunnies and chicks and we all love to gather together to party! Regardless of how you celebrate Easter, don't forget the real reason for the holiday. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
The Easter Bunny is a symbol of Easter that is popular in western culture, especially with children. According to folklore, the Easter Bunny hides Easter eggs for children to find on Easter morning. However, the association between a rabbit and the resurrection of ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
On Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, Pope Francis stood before pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square for the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, the pontiff stood before the packed square to speak of Jesus ... continue reading
By Alex Basile
Author Alex Basile reflects of the true meaning of the Resurrection of Christ and how many Christians overlook the real joy of Easter. In the haziness of the first Easter morning, Mary Magdalene made her way to tomb of her friend and teacher. Fighting back tears and ... continue reading
By Fr. James Farfaglia
With the resurrection of Jesus, the physical is exalted. When we truly believe in Jesus, we are resurrected in this life because we are freed from the fear and worry that are characteristic of a godless life; we are freed from the unhappiness of a life filled ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Something strange is happening - there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all ... continue reading
By Fr. Randy Sly
Just as the Chief Priests and Pharisees gathered with Pilate to plan on keeping the tomb sealed and guarded with Christ inside, many today want to place a stone in the entrance of the Church, to keep him inside again. On Holy Saturday we remember that no matter how ... continue reading
By Michael Terheyden
Pope Francis said something during his first general audience that inspired me to reflect on the suffering Jesus endured during his Passion for the sake of our redemption. He said, "Living Holy Week means increasingly entering into God's logic, the logic of the Cross. ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Christ has flooded the universe with divine and sanctifying waves. For the thirsty, he sends a spring of living water from the wound, which the spear opened in His Side. From the wound in Christ's side has come forth the Church, and He has made her His Bride. ... continue reading