Lent can help us grow in discipline Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hedglen   
Sunday, Feb 14, 2016
First Sunday
Of Lent
Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15
Romans 10:8-13
Luke 4:1-13

The most frequently asked question of Catholics at this time of year is, "What are you giving up for Lent?"

Giving things up and doing extra things is definitely a big part of the Lenten season. I suppose another big question is how long will we keep firm in these intentions before totally failing at Lent.

I think one of the best reasons to give something up or do something extra in Lent is that it helps us grow in discipline. We are a culture that lets our emotions and feelings dictate our action or inaction.

Discipline can act as a balancing factor in our life. If we do what we do when we want to do it because we want to do it with no thought of self-control, we fall into the sin of gluttony or sloth. But if we can tame our passions with a little discipline, we can achieve greater heights of spiritual joy.

Strange as it may seem, there is more joy in discipline than in indulgence. One would think that giving in to temptation and enjoying the creature comforts would bring more satisfaction than denying ourselves or employing restraint, but this is not the case.

This week's Gospel makes this abundantly clear when Jesus, in the middle of a 40-day fast, is tempted by the devil to give in to the moment and indulge his emotions. Yet, in the face of such temptation, Jesus reveals the truth that standing firm brings us closer to the will of God.

The word "disciple," not coincidentally, has the same root as "discipline." A disciple is one who follows the teachings of another person. When we discipline ourselves, we allow another's teaching to guide and direct our paths. To be sure, disciplining ourselves is not easy. It takes, well, discipline.

So, when week two of Lent comes and we are tempted to abandon our resolve -- eat the piece of cake or skip that daily Mass -- let us be disciples of Jesus who disciplined himself in the desert and did not give in to temptation.

May this be our constant prayer: Jesus, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil!

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: February 2016 Print E-mail
February Universal Intention

Care for Creation. That we may take good care of creation–a gift freely given–cultivating and protecting it for future generations.

February Evangelization Intention

Asia. That opportunities may increase
for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2016.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Friday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 5
Ascension Thursday
Monday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Tuesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Thursday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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