Children, Lent is coming!

Good morning students of St. John Vianney!   Today at Holy Mass, we are using green vestments; we see that the tabernacle veil is green – this is because it is – what season in the church?   Ordinary Time    

But next Wednesday, the color will change to violet,  and that will mean we will begin – what? Lent.   So next Tuesday, Deacon John will burn the old palms,  and from those, we have ashes for Ash Wednesday.     

Lent is a time when we especially repent of our sins;  we do some sacrifices to show God our love,   and we try to become a better Christian.   It is good to choose some kind of sacrifice,  and it is also good to decide to do something very good.     

You know, there are some children who wait until Ash Wednesday to try to decide what they are going to give up for Lent, or what sacrifice they will make – well, we don’t want to put it off like that at all!     

Well, what kind of sacrifice can we make, to show God our love?  Some people give up their favorite candy, or deserts.  Some turn down the warm water in their shower,   so that it is not as warm as they’d like it.  Or turn the heat down in their car.    

I knew one boy who slept on the floor instead of his bed,   once a week, as an offering to God.   One girl didn’t use her pillow every Wednesday during Lent.  Some people give up their favorite tv show, or video game.  One year, my brother didn’t watch tv at all!   There are many things we can give up.     

But there is something else we must do during Lent.  We need to pray more.   Now I know that you kids say your morning prayers when you wake up, and offer your day to God.  You pray before you eat, even if you are at a restaurant.  And I know that you pray before bed.  But for Lent, we need to add a new prayer.     

Maybe you could say one decade of the rosary, and offer it for a special intention each day.  Or you could pray a Litany; I have a book with 116 different litanies to choose from.  In one school, the children found a new prayer of their own choice with help from their teacher, and printed it out to say each day.     

And maybe, you can help your family to pray more during Lent.   You could say, ‘mom and dad, let’s pray this extra prayer before supper during Lent.’     

To do something very good, you could promise the Lord that you will write one letter every week and send it to your grandmother.  Or you could decide to help your mother set the table every night for dinner, instead of being a lazy-bum.  Or – you could get a jar, and every time someone in the house says a bad word or complains, they have to put a nickel into the jar. Then at the end of Lent, you could take that jar full of nickels and give it to the poor!     

So, now is the time to get ready, and think about what we want to do.  We have less than a week.  After all, we want to have something we can offer to God, as a gift, to show him how much we love him;  this way, when we get to Easter, we will be really glad that we did it.   

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