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The ‘Ups’ of Lent...

Our guest blogger is Msgr. Richard Hilgartner, a former executive director of the US bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship and currently president of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

“What are you giving up for Lent?” is always a popular question among Catholics as Lent approaches, as if another New Year’s resolution is to be set (or reset). It becomes, for some, a badge of honor, and, for all, an opportunity to witness to the faith in a public way. Even people who might not identify themselves as the most devout members of the Church engage in the practice of “giving something up,” and it can often lead to greater devotion

Lift Up, Give Up, Take Up

All of this is a good thing, because part of the “discipline of Lent” is a sacrifice. But what is the point of it? Are we merely called to self-discipline as a means of self-improvement? Or is it only a matter of suffering through some difficult sacrifice? Giving something up for Lent is only one part of a larger call to engage our faith more fully and more devoutly during the 40 days of Lent: that call is a call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Or, to put it another way, to lift up, to give up, and to take up.

This blog is taken from the article “The ‘Ups’ of Lent” by Msgr. Richard Hilgartner in St. Anthony Messenger. To subscribe to this award-winning publication, click here.

Image by Brad Wynnyk courtesy of



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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."