LENT SEASON BASICS
~ submitted by Clifton Flemister,
Lent is the season of the church during which we prepare ourselves for Easter – The Resurrection of Jesus.
There will be a number of study programs and offerings to help us with this spiritual journey of preparation. However, we often lose sight of the basics of this Lenten Journey because of the depth of these offerings. The basic get lost in the “weeds”, so to speak. Let us take a simple look at these basic exercises.
Prayer. This is a good time to spend develop our prayer life. Use some of the quiet time and reduced activity to think about and develop how you pray and what you pray for.
Repentance of sin. We recognize that we are sinners, being contrite, and ask God for forgiveness.
Doing penance. What deeds can we do to show our thankfulness for God’s forgiveness and dedicate ourselves to not repeating those sins.
Mortifying the flesh or Self Denial. In olden times, mortification included self-punishment through wearing sackcloth and flagellation. Today, we deny ourselves of pleasures, either permanently or temporarily. This includes fasting, abstaining from parties and other pleasures.
Almsgiving. Give to the less fortunate, or to causes that help the less fortunate. Though pledging to your church can be considered almsgiving, there is a difference. Almsgiving is giving directly to those less fortunate than we are. We find ways to give to, and help, the needy.
Keep these basics in mind as you pursue your journey through Lent and be sure to take advantage of the Lenten Offerings offered here at St. Matthew’s.