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More Instead of Less

I spent Ash Wednesday morning imposing ashes on our sisters and brothers at the Hall of Justice in the City Hall Compound. I have been a lay minister for more than twenty years, and this commitment at the beginning of the Lenten season has always been meaningful for me.

Traditionally, the Lenten Season begins on this Holy Day and ends on Holy Thursday. The so-called Easter Triduum begins on Good Friday and ends on Easter Sunday. As I grow more advanced in years, the meaning of this season has begun to take on a new perspective for me. My Catholic upbringing has taught me that the discipline of Lent is about “having less” and denying ourselves through acts of self-giving and sacrifice. At eighty-six, I have been so blessed that I now realize Lent is about the “more” of life. It is about paying attention to the more essential things we tend to neglect in the worldly preoccupations that we carry in our hearts. It is about praying more, reflecting more, giving more of ourselves to our less fortunate neighbor, and living life more meaningfully. It is forty days of more graces and blessings from our Lord through the practice of Fasting, Abstinence, and Alms-giving- which is like the three-fold motto of Lent.

I have learned that Sundays are excluded from the count in these forty days. The significance of the number “forty” is the time of our Lord’s trial and temptation in the desert in preparation for his public ministry. It is a time of renewal given to us by the Church to help us deepen and strengthen our life of faith.

May this season be indeed a time of reawakening and rebirth for all of you- a time when we all, as the minister would say in the imposition of the ashes, “turn away from sin and believe the Gospel”


“During this season of conversion, let us receive with open hearts the love of GOD”.



“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

1 Peter 5:6

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