Praised be Jesus Christ! I hope Lent is treating you well. What Lent is all about is taking an honest look at what’s in our heart and soul and working to align our lives more with the will of the God who made us. That can sometimes be hard work that entails dying to bad habits and learning to humbly ask God for His forgiveness and His grace. Ash Wednesday commends to our attention the ancient practices of prayer, fasting and alms giving. Let’s begin with our favorite: fasting! A couple of weeks ago I began experiencing some rather significant pain in my back. Because I worried it might be a kidney stone or something worse, I went to Urgent Care. Everything checked out okay, and it turned out to just be back pain, probably triggered by shoveling copious amounts of snow. What didn’t check out okay was my weight – when I stepped on the scale I was aghast at what I saw. Maybe I should have seen this coming: Father Barry got me a pair of snowshoes for Christmas and written on each of them in bold letters is the word “TUBBS.” I guess I just didn’t want to believe he was talking about me. Well, it’s turned out to be a real blessing because I’ve had a little extra motivation for the fasting component of Lent. Now please don’t misunderstand: fasting is not a diet plan for vain people hoping to look good at the beach. Rather, it’s a spiritual discipline that liberates us from being dominated by our physical desires. As Saint Teresa of Avila pointed out, give the body what it wants and it just wants more. Jesus put it this way: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We do not live in a culture known for its fasting practices. When was the last time you were truly hungry? Jesus fasted to give us a method that leads to a deeper spiritual life and a greater freedom from the sometimes inordinate desires of our bodies. Moving on to prayer, have you visited the new Saint John Paul II Adoration Chapel? Adoration is an acquired taste, but just stopping for 10 minutes once or twice a week will help you to have a more genuine prayer life. Learning to adore Jesus for an hour at a time might take a while, but the spiritual fruits are abundant. For example, people who develop a deeper prayer life learn to recognize their own sinfulness more readily, which keeps them from being so quick to judge others. Moreover, people who pray regularly are more and more able to know God’s will for their life and this is a source of deep peace. Finally, a deeper prayer life reminds us that one of the most merciful things we can do for people is to pray for them. Jesus was praying as He died for us on the cross – when we pray, we are imitating the merciful love that Jesus brought into our fallen world. And finally, alms giving, which is a constant source of generosity and wisdom to those who engage it. Our parish food drives are impressively organized and garner a great amount of participation. Our mission outreach has been a source of pride as we’ve served Christ in many ways in our own community and abroad. The hope is that this spirit of giving will inspire our younger parishioners to do their part as impressively as our older members have done. As we celebrate this Laetare or 4th Sunday of Lent, we renew our efforts to grow closer to Jesus through prayer, fasting, and alms giving. And as for this scribe, it seems to be working: I’m down 8 pounds!
May God’s grace, preeminently received in the Eucharist, change our hearts to be more forgiving!
Your friend in Christ, Father Martin
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM
Saturday: 3:15 - 3:45 PM
Monday - Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
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Welcome from Our Pastor
Welcome to Christ the King Catholic Church! Ever since 1938 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Our mission statement is essentially found in the stained glass window above the main altar: “For Christ our King.” Insofar as God made us and we belong to Him, we have come to... Read More