Recognize the Goodness – A Lenten Letter to Catholic Dukies

I wonder if you realize the difference you are making? I wonder if you appreciate how even amidst your trials and struggles, that the Holy Spirit is at work in you? I wish you could see you from my perspective. I wish you could hear and see what I see.

On Ash Wednesday I asked all Duke Catholics to write down your Lenten commitment. While we have placed that stack of cards on the altar for the last 2 Sundays for Mass (and will continue to do that through Easter), I was able to first look through them and read the anonymous scripts of Catholics at Duke. It was edifying to see the sincerity, the simplicity, the desire to reconnect with Christ (the heart of the Lenten journey). Broken out by simple number, the most common penitential practice involved a commitment to daily prayer and the second most common was a commitment to Sunday Mass. While there were so many others that were beautiful and worthy of note, these two stand out for their importance in the spiritual life and their obvious importance in your lives – you said these two things the most!

Interestingly, we have noticed an increase in Mass attendance since Ash Wednesday, more so than we usually do during this time. You are doing well and I imagine that there are myriad other ways in which you are engaging Lent, and thereby engaging Christ. I don’t want your goodness to go unnoticed.

I realize that some of us have also struggled in Lent – our best intentions have maybe been compromised by daily life or our own weakness. Regardless, know that God loves us not because we always do what we say we will, but rather, God loves us just because! Allow his unconditional love to welcome you back into the spirit of Lent that calls you to Repent & Believe! You are beloved of God – Listen to God’s voice calling you in these 40 days into a deeper commitment of relationship with Jesus in the Church. Let me know if I/we can help.

Peace,

Fr. Mike
fr.mike@duke.edu  c. 919-316-8763 / w. 919-684-1882
Follow me on Twitter @TheDukePriest