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The grace of Lent in this Year of Faith

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

February 13, 2013

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

            Lent 2013 promises to be an especially graced moment for you and me in our common journey through this Year of Faith.  We enter this sacred time with renewed determination to strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Mystical Body, the Church.  We respond trustingly to His invitation, “Follow Me.” 

When we open our minds and hearts to God’s reconciling love, all that holds us back from encountering Jesus in an intimate, life-altering way melts away.  Our efforts to re-vitalize and strengthen our faith must begin with an acknowledgement that sometimes our words and deeds rupture our relationship with the Lord and one another.  We are in need of healing and reconciliation.  So, we examine our consciences and admit our failings, knowing that Jesus’ merciful love continually welcomes us into His warm embrace.

            This Lent I hope that you will approach the Sacrament of Penance to receive God’s forgiveness and the grace that the Sacrament offers.  It is this grace that is the catalyst of a renewed life in Jesus.  Having received the gift of forgiveness, we are called to extend the same forgiveness and mercy to others.  We take up the mission of being instruments of reconciliation in a world, and in a nation, which continue to struggle through violence, division and confrontation.

            In addition to the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance, Holy Eucharist and other devotional practices, I encourage you to participate in your parish’s special Lenten activities.  This time of reconciliation and renewal can bring us closer to Jesus and to one another.  Let us together follow the Crucified One to the glory of the resurrection where God’s peace will abide forever.

Let us pray for each other this Lent and always!

Faithfully yours in Christ,                                                                                                                  

Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

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