MARCH 17, 2019
Second Sunday of Lent
This Lent, Feed the Hunger within
by: Sam Guzman
When we think of Lent, it rarely calls to mind feeding our desires. Rather, for those who fast or engage in other penitential practices, Lent feels like a season of denying our hunger and of mortifying desires. Perhaps it is even a season where we feel physically hungry for the first time in a long time. This is well and as it should be.
But I would argue there is a hunger we should feed this Lent: The hunger for God. Buried deep within every human heart is a deep longing for God. It is a craving for the infinite, for joy without end, and for transcendent life that does not cease. We are frequently asleep to this deep hunger and it remains unconscious. For many, this cry of the heart is stifled or almost entirely extinguished by the cares of the world, by entertainment, by doubt, by the endless quest for pleasure, for fulfillment, and for power. Yet, for all this, the hunger does not cease. Deep within, the craving stirs, and in our quieter moments, when the shallow stream of impressions ceases, a dissatisfaction with the world grows.
A longing for something more, something that we cannot name, echoes quietly. It is almost like the ache of some romance long-lost but still recalled; a melancholy but sweet memory of a nameless joy that pierces us, and in these moments the pleasures of the world seem quite pale and hollow—which indeed they are.
These moments present us with a choice. They are moments of reckoning with eternity. “Choose you this day.” Death or life. Time or eternity. The infinite or the finite. God or the world. Momentary pleasure or triumphant joy. Will we listen to this call, this inner voice? Or will we numb its uncomfortable stirring by immersing ourselves again in the torrent of sensory stimulation? Will we turn to prayer and go deeper, or will we suppress the silent ache with addictions, with consumerism, with endless distractions? Our answer is intertwined with our eternal destiny. Salvation does involve what we do; but I would argue it has far more to do with what we desire. Effort and work are not about earning anything; rather, they are but proofs of our desire for God. We can never force God to do anything, but we can make our hearts ready. As Lent begins this Ash Wednesday, I challenge you to heed this inner voice. Allow the longing to grow—feed it, even. Allow yourself to feel the hunger for God, and then make space for Him. Strip away all that is inessential in your life so you can find the one thing necessary.
LENT IS COMING
LENT lasts 40 days beginning with Ash Wednesday up to (but excluding) the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.
The Three Pillars of Lent: PRAYER, FASTING, ALMS GIVING.
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting (Ages 18-59) (one primary meal and two lesser meals) and abstinence from meat (Age 14 and above).
All Fridays in Lent are days of abstinence from meat. This means NO MEAT.
10 Ways We Can Fast
(Fr. Ed Broom, OMV— 2015)
Jesus said: “Unless you do penance you will all perish.” (Lk 13:3). The first preaching of His Public ministry Jesus exhorts us to con-version: “Be converted for the Kingdom of God is at hand,” (Mk 1:15). The Church which is the Mystical Body of Christ generously offers us a season of grace which has as its purpose conversion every year. This is the forty days of Lent. The Israelites spent forty days in the desert; Moses fasted forty days on the Mountain; Jesus spent forty days in the desert fasting. The Church encourages us in the Season of Lent to dig deep into the inner recesses of our hearts and beg for conversion of heart. This conversion can become a reality by undertaking three traditional practices: prayer, almsgiving, and fasting (Mt 6:11018). In prayer we lift our minds to God; in almsgiving we go out to meet the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters; in fasting we dig deep into our hearts and beg the Lord for the grace to relinquish our attachment to sin. This being the case, what might be some concrete ways that we can practice fasting? An important note is the following: fasting is not a mere diet, with the simple desire to lose a few extra pounds. Rather, the purpose of fasting is to please God, convert our hearts, as well as to beg for the conversion of others. ...fasting must have a horizontal or supernatural intention! [Giving up something for Lent fosters self-discipline and tempers our desires. It is a form of fasting. It is a form of penance. It promotes spiritual growth. If you‟re giving up something for Lent, that‟s great. But think also about the possibility of doing something positive to bolster your spiritual life and make the world a better place. Look for ways that you can increase your knowledge of your faith, strength-en your spiritual life or perform special acts of mercy and kindness at home, at work, in your parish or in your community] (www.osv.com)
1. Eat less and receive the most Holy Eucharist more. By this practice we give more importance to our spiritual life and the salvation of our soul. Jesus said: “Do not work for food that perishes, but for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” (Jn 6:27—Discourse on the Bread of Life)
2. Control your tongue—Saint James says, “We should be slow to speak and quick to listen.” Read James, Chapter 3—one of the best exhortations in the world to work on controlling our tongue!
3. Heroic moments—The founder of Opus Dei has coined the phrase, “The Heroic moment.” By this Saint Jose Maria asserts that as soon as we hear the alarm clock we should spring from bed, pray and start our day. The devil of laziness encourages us to push the Snooze button! I do not believe the snooze button exists in the vocabulary and practice of the saints. What do you think?
4. Control those wandering eyes—The eyes are the mirror to the soul. The holy King David plunged into sin and more sin leading to murder for the simple reason that he allowed his eyes to wander. His eyes wandered and gazed upon a married woman— Bathsheba. Adulterous thoughts led to physical adultery, to denial of his sin and eventually to killing an innocent man—the hus-band of Bathsheba. Let us strive to live out the Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure of heart, they will see God.” (Mt 5:8)
5. Punctuality—Jesus says, “He who is faithful in the small will be faithful in the larger things.” (Mt 25:23) Being punctual and on time is a sign of order, respect for others, and a means to accomplish tasks well and on time.
6. Listen to Others—It is all too easy to interrupt others when they speak and try to impose our own ideas even before the person has finished his idea. Charity, which means love for God and for others, teaches us to respect others and allow to speak without interrupting and imposing our own ideas. Listening to others is also an act of humility—putting others before ourselves!
7. Be thankful rather than complain—Never allow a day to pass in which you do not thank God. We should constantly be thank-ing God. Furthermore, we should make it a habit to frequently thank others. “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; His merc y endures forever (Psalm 118:1).
8. Smile, even if you don’t necessarily want to —This indeed could be a great penance—to smile at somebody even when you are tired, carrying with you a headache or a cold. This is heroic virtue. A smile is something small, but it is contagious. Indeed a sincere smile can lift those who see it from desolation to a state of consolation.
9. Pray, even when you don’t feel like it—Many of us unfortunately base our spiritual life on mere feelings which are ephemeral, transitory and passing like the dew that evaporates by the morning sun. When Jesus was experiencing a mortal agony and desola-tion that drew huge drops of Blood from His pores, He did not really feel like praying. Nonetheless, Jesus prayed all the mor e fer-vently. Therefore, let us practice fasting and penance in our lives and have a set time and place to pray, and to pray at times when we don‟t feel like it. This is penance and true love for God! This is a sign of true maturity in the faith!
10. Encouragement—Let us get out of our egotistic shell and focus more on God and seeing Jesus in others, in imitation of the Good Samaritan. Let us learn to be a Simon of Cyrene and help our brothers and sisters who are carrying the weight of a very heavy cross...Remember the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you.” (Mt. 7:12)
Prayerfully read through these ten suggestions on how to fast—how to deny yourself—and choose at least one or two that you can start to practice right away. May our Lady, Mother of Good Counsel, encourage us to deny ourselves and say “yes” to the love of God by serving our brothers and sisters with a generous heart! (Lk 1:38—Mary‟s “Yes” to God).
Santa Barbara parish - bible study on tuesdays
Parishioners listen attentively during Bible Study classes. All are welcome to attend every Tuesday at 6:40pm in the upper parish hall.
The Family: The First School of Discipleship
The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmstead, Diocese of Phoenix
...Today, most of you who are parents face a secularized society, a culture that breathes air that is partially poisoned, and in some places deeply so. In these times, it is difficult to keep the sense of prayer and relationship to God and others foremost in your homes. But it is not impossible. As St. Paul says (Rom 8:31), “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
I want to offer four steps to assist parents to make their homes true domestic churches, places where Jesus is honored and followed intentionally. Making these four components of the family schedule and movements of the heart will bless you unimaginably and build a legacy of true discipleship for future generations.
Reclaim Sunday as the Sabbath: “As Sunday goes, so goes the week.” From the very creation of the world and forever, God knows our tendency to work instead of enjoying sacred rest. In addition to assuring that your family celebrates Mass on the Sabbath—for us Christians this is Sunday, the day of the Lord‟s resurrection and first day of the week—seek to make Sunday one of prayer, family fun and enjoyable time with friends and neighbors.
Prayer, the Oxygen of Family Life: “The family that prays together, stays together;” these words of Venerable Patrick Peyton are true. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul and of the Christian home. Dads and Moms, make the decision to bring prayer into the daily life of your family. This needs to begin with you. Couples who learn to pray together each day, and who live their marital embrace in fidelity to its true meaning—open to life and a mutual gift of self—experience a peace the world cannot give. The word “divorce,” much less the reality of it, never enters their home!
The family Rosary I most highly recommend. One of my most wonderful memories of childhood is of Mom and Dad pray-ing the Rosary with us children, as we all knelt before their bedroom dresser adorned with symbolic artwork of the Faith. Other devotional practices can be built into daily life, too, such as prayer before meals, Advent wreaths, Stations of the Cross during Lent and visits to the Blessed Sacrament at church. Meditatively reading the Bible, reciting the Liturgy of the Hours or praying with a resource like “Magnificat‟ are also good ways to listen to the Lord and surrender to His Plans. What matters is beginning the day by opening our hearts to God.
The Daily Family Meal: A reputable study in the 1990s concluded that among all of the habits in families where children were “successful” in school and in other social endeavors, the daily family meal was number one. This has been replicated in other studies since. While correlation does not prove causation, it would be foolish to ignore the overwhelming evidence and compelling common sense here. Whatever sacrifices are necessary to make this happen, I strongly encourage you to find the way to share meals together as a family. Eating together encourages natural bonding. This is one of the reasons so many cultures have distinctive foods which bless not only the body, but also the heart and soul.
Increase together time; Decrease technology time: Any critique of a tool requires a qualification—tools are not, in them-selves, evil. However, some tools, while technically neutral in a moral sense, are increasingly problematic. Obsession with technological screens is clearly the addiction of our times. In a recent interview, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive once in charge of user growth, strikingly says, “I feel tremendous guilt...Consumer internet business want to fig-ure out how to psychologically manipulate you as fast as possible and give you back that dopamine hit. (Dopamine is the brain chemical that indicates pleasure in the brain.) It literally is at a point now where we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. People need to hard brake from some of these tools.”
The precious and irreplaceable nature of family time makes it a primary target of the evil one. What to do about this is a serious question we must face as a society. Parents, you have the ability and the responsibility to train your children up in the understanding and proper use of tools, and more importantly in living a truly human and Christian life. I urge you to place limits on the use of screens in all their forms and to increase “together time” as a family. Build times of prayer, family fun and new traditions as alternatives. Parents who do so construct a legacy of beautiful memories from which their chil-dren and grandchildren will find strength and joy.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” says Joshua at a moment in time where Israel was considering unfaith-fulness (Jos 24:15). Dads and Moms, you are the leaders of your own home, the first teacher of your children; God has giv-en you the grace and mission to disciple your children in the footsteps of Jesus.
Santa Barbara Parish Prayer Ministry
prays the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet
for prayer intentions.
May you strive to be a better Catholic and be closer to God than you did in the past year.
God Bless You & Your Family!
Saturday: 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm
6:00 am (Chamorro)
9:00 am (Astumbo)
12:00 pm (Filipino)
2:00 pm (Chuukese)
Daily: 6:00 am &
Tuesdays & Fridays also: 11:30 am
Saturday: 6:00 am
For baptisms, Please visit the Parish Office for guidelines and scheduling.
Monday to Friday: 15 mins before the 6:00 am and 6:00 pm masses (at the chapel)
Saturday: 4:30 pm (at the upper church)
Divine mercy adoration chapel:
Monday to Friday:
7:00 am - 6:30 pm
7:00 am - 3:30 pm
Monday to Friday except Thursday:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm (CLOSED 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm)
Closed on Sundays, Thursdays, Holy Days & Holidays.