- Marc Anthony
- Cardinal Dolan
- 400 homeless men
- Jenny McCarthy
- The MARC Hotel
- Burnt old palm
- Bread & wine
- All of the above
The question is:
What made up my Ash Wednesday, February 18, 2015?
Here are your clues:
- Around midnight as Mardi Gras turned into Ash Wednesday, singer Marc Anthony performed at a benefit gala I attended for an organization that helps homeless children.
- Then, as dawn broke, I joined Cardinal Dolan to distribute sandwiches to 400 homeless men and a score of women at St. Francis Church on W. 31st
- Around 11:30 AM celebrity Jenny McCarthy interviewed me about Lent on her SiriusXM Stars radio show.
- As sundown approached, I celebrated Mass down the block from Grand Central. It included bread and wine, as usual, but also a dash of ash burnt from the leaves of last year’s Palm Sunday branches.
- Then a quick workout at the New York Sports Club, a Lenten resolution.
(Not sure which category fits – prayer, fasting or charity).
- Dinner at the MARC Hotel with a doctor who lends her time and talent serving as a Board member for one of our Catholic Charities agencies that helps children with HIV/AIDS.
This is not a bad way to begin Lent – especially for a Gemini.
But I’ll bet that most of our lives are varied with work, family, friends, etc. And that the multi-faceted person we call ourselves needs to have Lent as a time for a spiritual-selfie that includes as much depth of field as possible.
It’s simple: God wants all of us – not just a piece of us – to be transformed and know better his love and grace.
That’s why there are three traditional Lenten practices: prayer, fasting and almsgiving (charity). They are all about relationships and focus on the three essentials to the human person – God, others and myself.
It’s not that complex.
- Prayer – I talk to and listen to God.
- Charity or service – I think about and help meet another person’s needs.
- Fasting/sacrifice – I think about and focus on my wants and needs and decide to voluntarily forego something(s) so I can re-focus on what’s essential.
There are few guarantees but this one I am betting on. Those who do these three Lenten practices – praying more, sacrificing more and helping others more — will find themselves in a better place when Easter comes around.
Try it – you’ll like it. Get your friends to join in!
And now for our Jeopardy answer:
You guessed it.
- All of the above