Pastor’s Weekly Message 2-21-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

This year we have chosen for our Lenten theme “Led By The Spirit.” The forty days of Lent commemorate the forty days that Jesus spent alone in the desert wilderness, facing temptation, fasting, and praying to His Father. The Spirit led Jesus into the desert to help prepare Him for the greatest test, His Passion, and the greatest triumph, His Resurrection. We invite the Spirit to lead us on a similar journey, not perhaps into a literal wilderness, but into the wilderness of our hearts and minds. We pray that this journey will help prepare us to accept the suffering of the Cross as the path to liberation, setting us free to rise with Christ again at Easter.

In a line from the hymn that inspired our theme God says, “Rend not your garments, rend your hearts. Turn back your lives to me.” (Joel 2:13) To rend our hearts is to open them to God’s infinite love and boundless mercy. There is a time honored tradition in our faith of “giving something up” for the season of Lent. This year, as we allow the Spirit to lead us into our personal wildernesses, let us use this practice of self-discipline to root out those things which are keeping us captive. We may not overcome them in the forty days of Lent, it may be the journey of our lifetime, but these forty days of mindfulness could be life-changing.

With our most merciful God, repentance is not punishment, it is renewal. When we repent, we listen to God guiding us away from the attitudes that imprison us towards the attitudes that set us free. The Spirit is leading us to freedom, if only we will follow.

I wish you and your loved ones Lenten blessings of peace and renewal, and may your hearts be made free with Easter joy,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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