We each observe our Lenten practices in distinct and variable ways. Of
course, it is a season of prayer and penance for all of us. Quite common, some
of us are “giving up” many niceties or vices by fasting and conversion. Others
are “taking up” and “taking on” alms-giving to the needy and charitable service to
our neighbor, as did our Young Adult group with their Lenten service project.
However, what we might forget (and it’s not too late to include!) is
thanksgiving. Lent is also a season of gratitude. For what more can we
give to the Lord who has given us so much, except to thank Him for His only
Son, who redeemed us by His cross and resurrection? Our Lenten soulsearching
and outward practices should lead us to profound thanks. St. John
Chrysostom touched on this when he wrote: “Happiness can only be achieved
by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming
greed into gratitude.”
In that light, we have so much to be thankful for at St. Dominic Parish!
First off, as a temporary visitor, I can lead us all in giving a huge THANK YOU
to our parish staff and ministers, who throughout the year serve and lead our
faith community. Aren’t we blessed to have them! And at this time, we are all
so grateful for everyone involved in the renovation of the church: all the committees
and planners; the architects and construction workers; the benefactors of
large donations (including the Archdiocese) and all you contributors of every
penny; the remarkable volunteers who moved us “down” and then moved us
back “up” without a whimper; and all who made great sacrifices to keep our
community alive and well during the transition and renovation. As St. Paul wrote
to the Philippians: “I thank my God for you, and when I pray for you, my prayers
are always filled with joy” (1:3).
For whom, and for what more, do you give thanks during this Lenten
season of gratitude?