• Father Lance W. Harlow

Christmas stockings for Lent.

Lent begins February 17, 2021 with Ash Wednesday. It's a time of year when Catholics perform a variety of penances in reparation for their sins, but also to prepare for the great feast of Easter.

Every year we look at performing different kinds of penances. Many will give up certain kinds of food (candy, sweets, soda); others, will do additional works of mercy: helping the poor, the sick or the elderly. It is an action which, as a sacrifice, should cost us some physical discomfort, depriving ourselves of something we want, for the sake of another's welfare.

Over the years, though, people tend to pick the same penance as the previous years and they can fall into a rut of routine. One popular devotion is for people to save their money throughout the forty days of Lent and then donate it to a charitable cause by putting money in a small carboard box called a "Rice Bowl": the proceeds of which supply food to the poor in foreign countries.

This year, I would like to propose that you start a special St. Nicholas Project Lenten penance. Get out your Christmas stocking that you put away in December and fill it with dollar bills or change during Lent for the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. Christmas stockings don't have to be just for Christmas! St Nicholas is the patron saint of children year-round and this would be a fun way to get families and kids involved with doing penance for other families and kids in Vermont who are most in need of your love.

Do you think you could take out your Christmas stocking this year and make a Lenten sacrifice for boys and girls at Kurn Hattin? I think it would be a wonderful idea. Thank you for remembering the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes with your donation! God bless you!



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