Commentary

JustLove Ash Wednesday, 2015

photo 1Today’s Jeopardy answer is:

  • Marc Anthony
  • Cardinal Dolan
  • 400 homeless men
  • Jenny McCarthy
  • Treadmill
  • The MARC Hotel
  • Burnt old palm
  • Bread & wine
  • All of the above

photo 2The 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

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