/ / From the pastor’s desk—March 13, 2022

From the pastor’s desk—March 13, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

If there was just one word we could use to sum up this Lenten season it is the word “conversion.” The odd thing is that it still takes many words to understand what is conversion, like change, reformation, transformation, and redesign to name a few. For some people, this word may bring up negative feelings because it is a term used with cults, dictators, and misguided psychologists, but for us as Catholics, we will look at it in its trues spiritual sense.

Our conversion is not simply for the sake of changing. Our changing is not because we are like some product in the store that always has to reinvent itself to get our attention. Our conversion, especially in this time of Lent, is to bring us in line with our origin and our destiny, as people made in the image and likeness of God.

We enter this process of conversion each year, because we stray from the core of who we are as we are pushed and pulled by every temptation that is not of God. More than any other temptation we face is the temptation of selfishness. We couch it in other terms, like, “you deserve the best,” and “don’t let anyone tell you what to do, be your own boss.” Phrases like this is how we can forget that we were made for others, not ourselves.

If we hope to make the most of the Lent, there is one trait, quality, virtue that will help us more than any other and that is humility. Only in humility can we accept that we have strayed or lost our way. Only with humility can we ask for directions to find the right path to our destination. Only with humility can we become more than who we are.

If we want to learn how to be humble in a world that pushes us always to be ahead of others (the best), we only need to look to Jesus. He could have come to this world as He was in the transfiguration with all glory, but He humbled Himself taking the form of a slave (Phil 2:7). He came as a baby and learned the ways of this world. So too must we learn anew the ways of God returning to the Word of God and letting it form us anew. This is reason enough to join us each Sunday in the first 5 weeks of Lent to reflect more on the gospel of each week.

Conversion is scary when we are called to let go of what we know but it is also a great grace as it leads us to true freedom. We will not learn freedom until we become the person God has made us to be. In reality our conversion to be our truest self, as a follower of Christ, is not just for Lent, it is a lifelong endeavor, but Lent is the moment we give extra attention to our individual conversions to find the freedom this world cannot give but God can.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray