• Father Lance W. Harlow

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

February 26, 2020 is Ash Wednesday this year. This day is the kick-off for Lent in the Catholic world and for other mainstream Christians as well. Ash Wednesday is marked (literally) by the imposition of ashes on the forehead. The ashes are a sign of two things: A reminder of our mortality that "we are dust and unto dust we shall return." And, secondly, it's a reminder for us to "repent from our sins and to believe in the Gospel." We inherited the imposition of ashes from the ancient Jews who practiced it at the time of Jesus as a sign of mourning, affliction and repentance.

But, as dramatic as Ash Wednesday is, the best part of Lent is the three-fold practice of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Each of those practices, deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture and in the tradition of the Church, takes ordinary people and turns them into saints!! It's hard to believe, I know, but it is true. Just look at the two thousand years of Catholic history and sainthood. Prayer and fasting are obvious. And almsgiving simply means giving to charity.

Can't think of a good charity this year? Well, I have the perfection solution for you! Give alms to the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children. Put on your kitchen table a box, cup or jar into which you can put all of your extra change. If you don't use cash money, then take a percentage of the weekly allowance you would use for recreation or junk food and devote that money to the children's home.

Teach your own children and grandchildren at at early age that giving to charity is a holy and noble deed! As a family, or as an individual, collect all of your Lenten donations and then at Easter send them

to Kurn Hattin as the fruit of your Lenten sacrifice. How marvelous would that be?

I promise you that when you give alms to support the boys and girls at the Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, God will greatly bless your sacrifices, as well as you and your family for remembering His kids! Get Lent started off on the right foot with the noble and beautiful practice of almsgiving. Just remember: giving alms to Kurn Hattin can make you a saint!!

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