Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Past Messages

Deacon Ron Reflects on 20 years….
New Mass Times
Looking Back and Forward at 100
We Remember Our Freedoms
The Gift of Faith, from Frederick, Maryland
Entrusting Ourselves & Our Parish to Mary
Home in the Shade
Divine Mercy Sunday
Easter Joy
Spring Cleaning
March Madness and Fanaticism
No Man Is An Island
Start Hard but Finish Strong
Lent and the Annual Catholic Appeal!
Courage for Healing
Biggest Lie: Holy Moments
Authenticity and Holiness
Biggest Lie: Humanity and Happiness
Catholic Schools Week
At the Heart of a Promise Renewed
Faith to Move Mountains Update
20 + C + M + B + 19
As a Family We Confront Travails
The God Who Goes the Distance
The Lord is Near… Not sooo Fast!
CINO and the Reason for the Season
Expectation, Waiting and Hope
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
Hospitality Multiplied
Earthly and Heavenly Fulfillment
Holiness, Purification and our Destiny
Friends in High Places & Friends on Mission
Creation and Givenness
Lepanto & Victory, the Rosary & the Abundant Life
Celebrating 100 Years and Creating a Strong Future
Two Paradoxes: Life Lost & Last Place
The Church is You!
Rhythm and the Buzz
Concrete Steps for Renewal
Abuse and Disgust meet Penance and Reparation
Sunday Homily delivered 19 August 2018 and Meditation and Melted Wax
PAPIT and the Jesus Prayer
Love Overflows in Generous Service
Food and Fasting
Pastors, Sheep and a Fishbowl
Gathered, Refreshed, Scattered
Independence Day and Local Greatness…
Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Lessons from Rome
March 10, 2019

Start Hard but Finish Strong

Dear OLPH,

Lent is a privileged season, meaning we seek to live it with more intensity. Lent is a season of penance and conversion, a time to reexamine our ways and reorder our lives to Gospel priorities. Hence one invitation with the imposition of ashes: “Repent and believe in the Gospel!” Our inevitable death and impending judgment impel us to conversion. Hence the other invitation: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return!” One day, we will all meet our Maker, and our lives will be instantly sorted out, by the intensity and purity of our love, in other words, how well our love was ordered in service of God and neighbor.

Typically Lent is known by three spiritual practices: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These great traditions are good in themselves, but they are most valuable as tools which assist to put our houses in order. As we prepare gameplans for Lent (oh yeah, gotta have a gameplan!), two good questions are: “What needs to go?” and, “what needs to grow?” We can apply these three tools to address those questions.

Sometimes folks ask me about the difference between fasting and abstinence. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of FAST (only one full meal) and ABSTINENCE (no meat). All other Fridays of Lent are days of ABSTINENCE (no meat). Also, those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to FAST (only one full meal) as above.  From the age of 14, people are also obliged to ABSTAIN  (no meat: this obligation prohibits the eating of meat, but not eggs, milk products or condiments of any kind, even though made from animal fat). Please be prudent and intentional.

The Lenten season begins intensely: with Ash Wednesday and the first Friday in the same week, but remember that Lent is 40 days. It is a marathon not a sprint. So, as we make our resolutions and spiritual gameplans, we need to save enough energy to finish strong. We do not want to fizzle in our resolve before halftime.  Make it a great Lent!

Fr. Wilson