The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


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Beyoncé is going country
February 23, 2024

Commemorate Lenten season with perserverance

Spring break is now over, and the focus of our lives is on the final few weeks of school and selecting courses for next fall’s semester. What classes do I need? What about a summer job? What will I be involved in when I return?

These issues can be overwhelming if we dwell on them too much. So how can we effectively discern the future?

Today is Ash Wednesday. The common thought is that it is a “Catholic” thing. The idea of showing remorse for sins is not simply confined to the Catholic Church, however.

The outward display of the ashes reminds us of our origin and our earthly destination. The ashes also serve as a reminder that all the mortal focus on passing things will end with our death.

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Death is an issue that people rarely wish to discuss, yet we are subject to it daily. We all will die and we will not die in order. Though the death of the body is an absolute, the soul is eternal, and where we spend eternity is up to us.

Ash Wednesday is a day when the Catholic Church calls her faithful to receive the outward sign of sinful nature so that others may also recognize their frailty and sinfulness. It marks the beginning of the Lenten season, which recalls the 40 days Christ was tempted in the desert and overcame the evil one by fasting and reciting scripture.

Lent is a time when the church calls the faithful to look inward and purify their hearts and souls with prayer, fasting and almsgiving. True, we are asked to abstain from meat and fast on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday, but there are other ways to achieve these things.

Prayer is conversation with God. When I ask people how often they pray, the response usually rests somewhere between “sometime” and “not usually.” Occasionally, I get the “I go to Mass on Easter and Christmas” answer. How nice to grace the Author of Life with two visits a year.

Fasting means giving up – a sacrifice – that has an end in order. This concept seems to have issues too. Try to go a whole day without texting. You may require medical attention to counter the withdrawal symptoms, but just give it a shot one day. Offer it for the dead or perhaps the sufferings of someone in your life or that our dear Lord will open your heart to his divine plan.

Almsgiving is the third way the church asks us to offer charity to our neighbors. I cringe when I say this, but money is not a necessity in giving alms.

If you have gifts or talents, use them to not only build the Church, but also to help the people of the church. Shovel a walkway or help a friend in need with food or school supplies. If you use the gifts God has given you for others, that is giving.

The building of disciplines throughout Lent will help us in our daily lives. It builds our relationship with Christ, which builds up the body of Christ.

The end goal is to look upon the beatific vision, to see the glory and splendor of Christ. How can I achieve this goal? This is the question to ask over the next 40 days.

If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend and want to get to know them better, you have to talk with them; you must spend time with that person to get to know them better. Likewise, you must spend time with Christ in order to better know him.

I have a suggestion – take this Wednesday as an opportunity to begin a new life journey. Take this time to starve the vices that obstruct you from seeing clearly, be it vanity or sloth or pride. Whatever it is, stay strong.

With that in mind, I am obligated to tell you that it will get rough. Think of a starving animal and how it reacts. Be prepared for a battle.

Avoid the occasion of sin like a dog on a leash and don’t get in range.

But like Jesus, perseverance is the key to success. Seek his forgiveness in the sacraments and then carry on.

We truly can do all things in Christ. “Make no provisions for the flesh.”


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