Lent message from Bishop CLyde Harvey
It’s lent again! “It seems like just the other day that I was in Church for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.” Without Carnival to warn you, Lent just creeps up on you.
We have to take personal responsibility for our awareness and practice of Lent. This year we join the 3 Lenten disciplines – PRAYER, ALMSGIVING, FASTING – to our three diocesan watchwords – LIVE CHURCH, BUILD COMMUNITY, SERVE COUNTRY. We cannot hope to make our watchwords real and true unless we become people of prayer, generosity and self-denial.
I ask every Catholic in the diocese to give serious thought and prayer to the 3 watchwords, especially LIVE CHURCH. Our faith tells us that we are all parts of one Body (1 Cor.12). When we come to Church, we meet our Body in Church. If we look around as we enter or leave the church building, we are seeing our Body, a fellow member of the Body of Christ. Lent has 6 weeks. We can promise ourselves to get to know one new member of the Body every week. Get a telephone number. Greet a fellow Catholic who lives on your street, in your area. Invite 2 or 3 of your fellow Catholics to Mass or some other Church function every week, especially those who have lapsed. When you meet them at a funeral, remember to greet them. Take note and pray for them before the day is through. The communion which we share at Mass is not just a piece of consecrated bread. It is a network of relationship with God, one another and everything that is, which relationship is meant to animate our whole life. WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST. We must LIVE that both inside and outside the building we call CHURCH. The building means little unless the relationships are alive and active, transforming hearts and communities.
This year 2019 I invite all those who can, especially from 16 to 60 years of age, to FAST for Lent, especially on Fridays, but not only on Fridays. Our Catholic practice of fasting means that we have only one full meal during the day, avoiding solid food, preferably from 6 am to 6 pm. Any pangs of hunger or longing for food should be turned into a prayer. Any money saved should be given to the poor. I encourage the parishes to have fasting envelopes in which the money saved by the denial of food is given to a charity to be determined by the parish.
Most important of all, I invite you to join me in turning our fasting into PRAYER FOR THE NATION AND OUR LEADERS. It is not easy to guide a nation, especially when one is committed to building a genuine democracy. The temptations to pride, greed and arrogance are very great. The very adulation of the people can become a noose around our necks which slowly destroys our true soul. Join me every Friday in prayer and fasting for all our leaders in every sector of national life. May we all be trustworthy, honest and creative, beyond our self-interest and our fears, in the best interests of Grenada, according to God’s Will.
Diocesan Task Force