Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yet another reason Catholics celebrate Lent...

...is to journey with those entering the Church at Easter.

It’s easy for those of us born and raised Catholic to be unaware of the process it takes for people to enter the Catholic Church. I help with RCIA at a local parish and we meet as a group for two hours every Monday night from the week after Labor Day through a couple weeks after Easter (not counting December; we all need breaks sometimes).

This is a considerable commitment but even more significant is the life-changing experience many who are going to be baptized and/or confirmed go through. Many leave behind friends and family who want nothing to do with a “papist” or a “Mary worshiper” (yes, I’ve seen this happen). Even more have to deal with the pain of recalling previous marriages to get them annulled. For all of them it’s a time of humility to say that they’ve found the truth where they didn’t expect it and are willing to change to follow it.

Easter (more precisely the Easter Vigil) is the customary time for adults to be baptized/confirmed and this is the finish line that those converting to Catholicism have been trying to reach for months or years. As we journey through the desert of Lent never, ever forget that the entire Church journeys with you and in a particularly meaningful way those seeking to join the Church are in their home stretch.

Please pray for those entering the Church as part of your Lenten observance. Pray that the people in their lives will accept the choice they’ve made. Pray that God continues working in their lives to keep converting their hearts to be like his. Pray that you and I may follow their brave example and have the humility to allow ourselves to be converted to Christ’s heart.

That those seeking to enter the Church are in their final stage of journey during Lent is yet another reason that Catholics celebrate.

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