Preparing for Holy Week

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By Anne Louise Mahoney, Managing editor

Here we are again, on the brink of Holy Week.

Where did these almost 40 days go? On Ash Wednesday, I had a lot of good intentions, but I have to admit that as the weeks of Lent flew by, I wasn’t as mindful of my actions as I could have been. And I suspect I wasn’t the only one to stray.

But it’s not too late. This week, we can find our way back to those lofty goals we set, so that we can enter fully into Holy Week. Here are some ideas:

  • Prayer: It’s easy to get swept up in the busyness of each day without making time for prayer. The good news is that even if our days are hectic, we can spend time with God at random moments – while standing in line, waiting on hold on the phone, going for a walk, making dinner or folding laundry. Use those times to connect with God by sharing your joys and your sorrows, and listening as God speaks to you. You’ll be a step closer to praying without ceasing, as Saint Paul recommends (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
  • Fasting: Sometimes we focus on fasting from certain foods during Lent (hands up if you gave up sweets!). But if we are honest with ourselves, it’s a lot harder to fast from negative attitudes or behaviours than from food. During Holy Week, think about giving up the need to be right, or to have the last word. Fast from social media for part of the day. Fast from mindless TV. Fast from yelling at the driver who cuts you off. Pay attention to the benefits this fasting brings.
  • Almsgiving: If you gave up a particular food for Lent, take that action one step further by calculating how much you would have spent on that food for six weeks – and then donate that money to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Or pick a worthy cause and share some of your time, talent or treasure with that organization. One option is the Development and Peace 2017 Share Lent campaign: Women at the Heart of Change. Get your kids, grandkids and fellow parishioners involved – make it fun and keep it going all year long.

Wishing you a fruitful Holy Week filled with unexpected blessings!

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