First Sunday of Lent

03-06-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The devil’s agenda is clear for those who are paying attention. He wants to seek and destroy God’s beloved children and rule the world. One of the devil’s methods of destruction is to do what he can to make sure people ignore God, promote injustice, invite people to solve problems with violence, and ensure that the seven deadly sins remain attractive to vulnerable souls.

In today’s Gospel, the devil is tempting Jesus to enter into a battle over who is going to rule the worldSatan or Jesus. Jesus brushes off Satan and Our Lord’s victory is a foretaste of the victory that we will celebrate at Easter. As disciples of Our Lord, we know that God, through Christ, has defeated Satan. Even though the devil remains active in our world today, we know a day will come when all evil will be destroyed and the rule of Satan will be replaced by the Kingdom of God.

Understanding that the battle between good and evil is real, Lent is the perfect time to examine how we are ,ighting the enemy who, as St. Peter is reminding us, is looking for souls to devour. What spiritual weapons do you have to help you? What resources do you look to for strength? How are you strengthening your resolve to be a faithful disciple of Christ? Do you spend time in adoration of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Do you look to Our Lord truly present in the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion to prepare you for the battle between good and evil?

One of the favorite targets for the devil and his demons is the family. Destroying families is one of the enemy’s greatest works and he is quite effective. He can be very subtle. The devil wants you to hold on to past family ,ights. He wants you to become bitter towards those who have hurt you. Lent is the perfect time to ask yourself if there are hurts in your family. Are there angry emotions that have been festering for years that continually complicate family meetings and communications? Perhaps, this Lent would be a good time to ask Our Lord to deal with the hurt by asking Our Lord to help you to understand the issues and then to heal you and your family. Lent is the perfect time to speak to the people who are wounded in your family and encourage them to ,ind a path to forgiveness. If you and your family can take even one step towards forgiveness, it will be a greater blow against Satan’s power than if you had decided for Lent to give up chocolate.

The enemy also has his focus on our culture and he seems more determined than ever. Have you noticed the growing acceptance of abortion on demand, the growing threat of war, and the lack of real leadership in our world? Perhaps, this Lent, you should address one of those issues. Perhaps, you could more fully inform yourself about it and give of your time or money to support an initiative that is trying to correct it. I assure you that even a small move to reduce the power of such evils in our world would be a greater threat to Satan than if you had decided to lose a few pounds before Easter.

Consider Lenten practices that attack the very structures of Satan’s power. Because it is by such choices that we can bring Satan’s rule a day closer to its destruction.