I decided to try something a bit different this Lent. The classic Lenten practices are almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. Jesus talks about them in the section of the Sermon on the Mount dealing with works of piety (Matthew 6:1-18). He is, of course, not inventing these practices (they were already ancient in Judaism when Jesus came on the scene). Rather, he is commending his blessing on them and instructing us on how to do them right. The key is to do them to please God, not win human approval. SO here paradoxically urges us to keep them private if it looks like you are going to get adulation for doing them, but he also urges us to not hid our light under a bushel but make it public so that people will praise our Father in heaven, not us. That’s a rather tricky tightrope to walk.
My attempt to walk it is to take this space and share some stuff that might be of help in your Lenten walk (a walk that, by the way, can be taken by anybody, not just Catholics. So for Lent, I’m going to take Mondays and focus on almsgiving, Wednesday, and focus on prayer, and Fridays and focus on fasting.
To begin with, I want to commend to your care a family that is suffering mightily: the Bigosinski family. This is a video outlining their plight:
Tragically, Meryldine died last week, leaving her husband Rafal both overwhelmed with grief and needing to carry on with raising their two children and with the task of paying the immense debts with which our insane and inhuman medical system crushes the grieving. Like so many burdened with stratospheric medical debt, this family desperately needs the help of good people like you guys. They have already raised $13+ thousand of the $20,000 they need. What they need, very simply is the rest so that, in addition to burying their beloved dead and stumbling numbly into the future through a world of pain and trauma and loss, they don’t have the added burden of wondering whether they can keep their home or whether there will be food on the table.
Please give generously to this suffering family. Thank you!