My dear Friends,
I had a seminary professor who used to tell us that a good preacher “comforts the afflicted, and afflicts the comfortable.” After almost 42 years of preaching I can say that his observation is pretty much on the mark.
Actually, we could all use a jolt once in a while to get us out of our comfort zone. From time to time everyone can give in to the temptation of complacency. We get comfortable and don’t like anything or anyone to disturb that comfort. But if we are to grow we need to look beyond what has become familiar and comfortable to us — we need to be challenged — we need to challenge ourselves.
Lent is a wonderful time to look beyond our comfort zone. The six weeks of Lent give each of us the opportunity to look deep into our heart as only we can, to assess where we’ve been, where we are, where we want to be. Lent is a good time to shake off the complacency that sets in and to honestly take stock of our lives.
Prayer, fasting, almsgiving — this is a perfect plan to assist us during Lent, a perfect plan to shake loose the cobwebs, to raise us from our complacency.
Prayer should be a part of our every day. No matter how busy we are, no matter how many commitments we might have, no matter the distractions — if we don’t pray we don’t talk with God and if we don’t talk with God we lose touch with Him.
Fasting is a marvelous discipline that helps us realize that there is more to life than just what we want, what makes us comfortable, what pleases us. Fasting means more than just abstaining from food or drink, especially from a favorite food or drink. We can fast from using our computers so often, from surfing the web. We can fast from having our cell phones growing out of our ears, from checking our text messages or e-mails every five minutes. We can fast from talking too much — or too little. We can fast from wasting time, such a precious commodity in our day and age.
Almsgiving allows us to share what we have with those who have very little or nothing. Again, almsgiving does not necessarily have to involve giving money. It can. We can contribute generously to our parish, to the diocesan annual appeal, to a food bank, to St. Vincent de Paul Society, to other worthwhile charities. We can also give our talent to these same institutions and charities. Perhaps our parish needs a musician, or someone to help with various projects, or lectors, or extraordinary ministers of the Holy Eucharist, or volunteers to bring the elderly to Church. The list goes on and on and on. And we can share our time, talents and treasure and thereby be taken out of ourselves.
If we are honest, we have to admit that in one way or another we are all comfortable. Lent is a time for us to evaluate that comfort and see if we’ve become so comfortable that we’ve left little or no time or room for Our Lord and for those who might benefit from our prayers, our fasting and our almsgiving.
May we all use this Lenten season to comfort the afflicted by sharing the good things the Lord has given to us and in the process to rouse ourselves from our lethargy and our own comfort. It is amazing how much more joy we will experience when Easter arrives!
Be assured of my prayers especially during this holy season of Lent. Please, pray for me.
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, D.D.
Bishop of Covington
How Do I…
register for the World Meeting of Families?
Please see our information page for the World Meeting of Families. It contains information for both the meeting registration as well as trip registration. Call the Office of Catechesis and Formation if you have additional questions.
register a speaker for my event?
In the Diocese of Covington, before contracting the services of an extern priest or deacon, man or woman religious, or lay person a request for permission must be accepted by the Chancery. Click here and you will be directed to the Chancery’s webpage where you can download and submit the proper form.
sign up for marriage prep classes?
Check out the Office of Catechesis & Formation’s Programs for Engaged Couple page for answers to your questions.
order sacramental records?
The Archives of the Diocese of Covington offers assistance in obtaining sacramental records and other genealogical information.
get an annulment?
The Tribunal Office handles the annulment process.