Persevering through Lent

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“Ask the Deacon” features three Transitional Deacons who will be ordained June 3 to the priesthood in the Diocese of Providence — Deacons Brian Morris, Joseph Brice and Stephen Battey — who respond to questions about the faith from Rhode Island Catholic readers.

Q. What are some things that I can do that will sustain me through the Lenten season?

Attend a Lenten Mission

Lenten missions are a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect more deeply on some aspect of the Lenten season or our lives of faith in a way not possible in the Sunday homily. The talks are typically offered by a priest over the course of three or more nights. They may also incorporate the celebration of Mass or a time for Eucharistic adoration as well. If your home parish is not offering a mission this year or if you have a conflict with the one offered in your parish, it would be well worth your time to explore what other missions are being offered in parishes close to you. There may be a mission offered on a particular aspect of Lent that we have never considered before and it could be just the thing needed to renew our enthusiasm in the remaining days of Lent.

Balance Private Observances with Communal Devotion

Like our Blessed Lord, it is a good and holy desire to allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit into a kind of solitude during the season of Lent. Such solitude allows us to refocus our thoughts and desires on God in a radical way. However, we were not created for solitude alone. One might want to consider joining fellow parishioners for a devotion like stations of the cross on a Friday evening. Having a healthy balance of both solitary and communal Lenten devotions can help our spiritual lives from getting too routine.

Seek the Intercession of the Blessed Mother

Finally, we are especially reminded of the assistance that comes from Mary during this year devoted to our Blessed Mother here in the Diocese of Providence. In a recent Angelus address given at the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis affirmed that Mary is the icon or model of obedience and unconditional trust in the wisdom of God. Her intercession aids in our own Lenten journey of conversion as we strive to grow in that same willingness to place our trust in God for all aspects of our lives. She is always ready to seek out those graces needed to sustain us as we continue through this season of Lent.

Have a question? Ask the Deacon! Readers may submit questions for the deacons to consider by sending them to Editor@thericatholic.com.