Youth Apostles Online
Newsletter for Catholic Teens : February 2002
Hello beautiful young people of God! Lent is upon us. "Ugh!!!" Who said that?! What? You hate Lent? You hate giving up stuff? It's depressing thinking about Jesus suffering and dying? Well, lest we get sucked away from the true beauty and awesome opportunity of this season, let's remind ourselves of what it really means.
Lent is not just about giving up stuff. It's about being cleansed and set free! Remember, at the end of this journey is the Resurrection! And the only way to get to it is through the cross.
So, be honest! What sins do you feel are really trapping you - preventing you from being free? You know... those things that you repeatedly do or think or say that you know are sinful. You don't really want to be that way; it drives you crazy! You want to be holy, but it seems so impossible.
Think and pray about giving up that certain sin during Lent. More importantly, make a plan to put the opposite virtue in its place! For example, if you're really jealous of a sibling and you constantly treat him like a jerk-a-zoid, make a conscious decision to fast from being mean to him, and make a plan to do one nice thing a day for him. You can take this same approach to any variety of sins. Don't give up if you mess up or forget. Keep working at it!
When it comes down to it, Lent is about Good News! Lent is about kicking Satan's butt! It's time to give over those footholds he has in our lives to the unbeatable power of Jesus' perfect act of love--his death on the cross. So go to it!
Be sure to check out the really cool reading from Ash Wednesday below. It is a prayer for mercy. Why not make it your daily prayer during Lent?
Until next month, I remain...
Your Eucharist loving, Blessed Mother petitioning, rockin' Catholic Church obeying, Pope John Paul II devotee and fellow sinner in need of God's grace and mercy,
Youth Apostles Online
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Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
- Psalms 51: 1-4, 10-12, 15
"Be reconciled to God!" These words insistently echo in our spirit. Today is the "acceptable time" for our reconciliation with God. With this in mind, we receive ashes and take the first steps of our Lenten journey. Let us generously continue on this road, keeping our eyes firmly set on Christ crucified. For the Cross is humanity's salvation: only by starting from the Cross is it possible to build a future of hope and peace for everyone.
- Pope John Paul II on Ash Wednesday, 2001
An instant classic, this moving talk on the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a must for practicing and non-practicing Catholics alike. Father Larry Richards is riveting, hilarious, insightful, earthy, and inspirational. No one who listens to this tape will ever experience this most important sacrament in the same way again. A truly life-changing talk.
For your free copy, request "Confession" from:
The Mary Foundation
PO Box 26101
Fairview Park, OH 44126