Lent has certainly moved quickly! Here we are, a mere two weeks from Easter and our celebration of the greatest act of love and mercy in the history of creation: the death and resurrection of Jesus. We are also a quarter of the way through the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by the Holy Father. Pope Francis reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we have a special call to reflect God’s mercy in our own lives…to “take up our cross daily” and follow him (Luke 9:23).

Of course, this does not mean literally being nailed to wood. In fact, in our modern western culture it will not even mean enduring martyrdom (though many people elsewhere in the world do so each year!) 

So, how do we live out this call to mercy?

To ask about the effect of the Sacrament of the sick is to ask if Sacraments are important. 

The foremost thing we have to note about the Sacrament of the sick is that it is a remarkable sign of God’s love for us, through which He grants us the grace of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies and beautifies our souls as well as our bodies. This act of God’s love is significant and immense. By celebrating this Sacrament, the church in union with the heavenly powers, intercedes for the recovering and recuperation of the recipient both in Spiritual and physiological dimensions. 

As we begin this sacred season of Lent, perhaps we can take this time to reflect on something that will inevitably take place in our lives—temptations! Whether large or small, overt or subtle, we all face the temptations in our lives. Even Jesus was not exempt from temptation in his own life. The only difference is that many times, while we fall into our temptations, Jesus does not (we shall reflect on why later on). In our Gospel Reading from the First Sunday of Lent, we find that after Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River, Jesus is moved in the desert where he was tempted by Satan. 

Metanoia = to use the Greater mind.....Mind of Christ

Lent is a time of the year that allows us turn around and change our minds. This shift is one that allows us to see, think, and to love like Christ. I like to think of it as a turning around, so that instead of facing the world and the attachments that make us happy here, we shift, pivot, turn ourselves around to face God. We do an 180 degree TURN!

A disclaimer up front: if you are looking for an article about practical things to give up for Lent, or a refresher on the three traditional pillars of prayer, fasting and alms-giving then this is not the article you are looking for. Plenty of ink has already been spilled on those topics, with much better advice than I could ever give. My goal here is to do something a little different.