Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 13, 2000
Students plan for Lenten sacrifices
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Lent is a perfect cure for the "me, myself and I" syndrome many of us have come to adopt, said Archbishop Thomas Collins during the Ash Wednesday Mass at Austin O'Brien High School.
It's the perfect time to get away from our selfish, rushed lifestyle and reflect on the true meaning of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, "our most common prayer."
"It reminds us that we have a generous love relationship to God and to each other," Collins said to the more than 900 students and teachers at the March 8 Mass. "When we celebrate Lent, we stop, look and listen.
"It's a time of ruthless honesty (recognizing) our frailties, but also a time of hope."
Collins encouraged the students to pray, fast and offer aid to the poor during Lent.
He also encouraged them to relinquish their worries to the Lord.
"We think of the things in our lives that are dark and heavy. . . . There's no future in that. They just lead us inward where it is dark, where no light can enter. Lent is our time of refreshment."
The lives of students are busy indeed, said Collins, but it should not be so busy that we become slaves to it.
"We can be slaves to food, our TV, computer screens. When our appetite of any kind becomes our master and not our servant, there is a problem."
Even before the end of Mass, some of the students had already begun reflecting on what they could do to celebrate Lent.
"To give something up would be so small compared to what Jesus gave up for me," said Danielle Collins, a Grade 12 student.
But no matter how small in some people's eyes, Collins said she will be giving up her love for licorice this year.
"It'll be hard. I love licorice," Collins said. "But I'll do it."
Ashley Stumbo wants to spend this Lenten season doing "more meaningful things. Instead of watching TV. I want to do something more important."
The Grade 11 student will spend more time in prayer. "I feel refreshed after I pray. My problems feel lighter."
Fellow student Erin Balkan, also in Grade 11, will spend this time of Lent putting the archbishop's words to practice.
"I think I will try to do more reflection," she said. "To be more generous to others rather than just focusing on myself. Sometimes we get all caught up in what we're doing. I want to think more of others."