Lent’s Almost Over!

The 40 days of Lent are quickly drawing to a close.

Hopefully during this time, we have been deepening our relationship with the Lord through prayer, fasting and almsgiving and discerning where God is leading us.

If your Lenten practices haven’t measured up to your good intentions on Ash Wednesday, it is not too late to use these last two weeks to improve. And one of the ways to improve is to make an effort to be a good steward.
Everything we have comes from God and so many times we know that in our minds but it has not reached our hearts nor our actions. Think about the direction that our Lord is leading you, does it include how you handle your finances, how you handle the 24 hours of the day that we each have, how you use your God given talents?
Are you a steward of these blessings or are you just a consumer, a user, of these blessings?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has many beautiful sections related to our call to be good stewards.
In God’s plan man and woman have the vocation of “subduing” the earth as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator “who loves everything that exists,” to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them. (CCC 373)

God has entrusted his world to us and as stewards, we have an obligation to be good stewards in ALL things, including how we handle our money and possessions. Everything we have is on loan to us and really belongs to God. This view of our call to stewardship is contrary to how the world influences us.

Let’s face it. We live in a world defined by commercials. Advertisers tell us that we should get everything we want, when we want it, because we deserve it (and because they want us to buy it!). Most advertising is aimed at making us feel inadequate if we don’t buy what they are selling. Our culture barrages us with almost non-stop advertising—it’s everywhere. We even pay higher prices for clothes that have advertising messages on them.

Many commercials don’t even give us the specifics on the product they want us to buy. How many car commercials have you seen that talk about safe, reliable, cost effective transportation? Instead they show a couple kissing passionately in the rain with the car in the background or a bunch of friends singing while they lounge in a comfortable back seat.

The most popular television shows are reality shows that allow us to put ourselves in the place of the contestants as they vie for big money and exotic trips.

If we could only own this or that, have more money, vacation there, or drive that car then we would finally be happy. But no matter how much money we have or how much we buy, we’ll never get the fulfillment that can only come from God.

The problem is our attitude when worldly things become more important to us than God. Society tells us that only things fulfill us and bring us true happiness. When we believe this, we forsake God for our material gods.
Our attitude toward money and possessions can be the lever to our hearts. Money can be what draws us closer to God or what drives us to put up a wall between God and ourselves. Using money wisely and with the right attitude will bring us many blessings. When we give, save and spend in a manner pleasing to God we can grow closer to him. If we are unfaithful with money and possessions, our relationship with him will suffer.

The bottom line is that It’s not about the money…it’s about the change…the change of your heart when you learn to follow Jesus’ example. He was the perfect steward.

Jesus spent forty days and nights in the desert before beginning his ministry. During this time, he was tempted by the devil with food, with all the kingdoms of the world and with throwing himself off the temple wall to have the angels save him.

But Jesus would not be tempted because he knew his mission was from the father and all these temptations would take him off mission. His whole life points back to the Father. And our lives should always point back to the Father. Jesus is calling us to be stewards of the blessings God has for each and every one of us. We are to be stewards of all he has given to us and everything entrusted to our care.

Our stewardship must point back to the Father, just as Jesus did. Paragraph 912 from the Catechism states:

The faithful should “distinguish carefully between the rights and the duties which they have as belonging to the Church and those which fall to them as members of the human society. They will strive to unite the two harmoniously, remembering that in every temporal affair they are to be guided by a Christian conscience, since no human activity, even of the temporal order, can be withdrawn from God’s dominion.”

Our life is a constant balancing act between our secular culture and our faith.

Take time to contemplate the many ways Jesus was the perfect steward and consider ways you can be a better steward by asking yourself the following questions:

How do you balance the demands of the secular world against your faith life?

What is your biggest challenge in living a personal stewardship lifestyle?

How do you recognize God’s ownership?

How do you practice the virtue of contentment in our secular world?

Send us your comments on the CompassCatholic.org contact us form!

The Way of a Fool

As a way to get ready for today’s blog, I went to the American Bible Society website, choose the NABRE version of the Bible, including the Deuterocanonicals and did a word search on “fool.” The search results showed there were 219 verses related to the word “fool.”  

Who knew the Bible had so much today about how we are foolish in different situations?  

Here are some verses for you to contemplate to avoid being a fool on April first, or any other day!

Proverbs 12:15, The way of fools is right in their own eyes,but those who listen to advice are the wise.

Proverbs 17:16, Of what use is money in the hands of fools when they have no heart to acquire wisdom?

Jeremiah 17:11, A partridge that broods but does not hatch are those who acquire wealth unjustly: In midlife it will desert them; in the end they are only fools.

Proverbs 10:8, A wise heart accepts commands, but a babbling fool will be overthrown.

Proverbs 20:3, A person gains honor by avoiding strife, while every fool starts a quarrel.

Sirach 22:9, Teaching a fool is like gluing a broken pot, or rousing another from deep sleep.

Ecclesiastes 7:7, Extortion can make a fool out of the wise, and a bribe corrupts the heart.

Proverbs 10:14, The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool is imminent ruin.

Proverbs 14:16, The wise person is cautious and turns from evil; the fool is reckless and gets embroiled.

Proverbs 15:5, The fool spurns a father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.

Proverbs 21:20, Precious treasure and oil are in the house of the wise, but the fool consumes them.

Sirach 27:11, The conversation of the godly is always wisdom, but the fool changes like the moon.

Isaiah 32:6, For the fool speaks folly, his heart plans evil: Godless actions, perverse speech against the Lord, Letting the hungry go empty and the thirsty without drink.

Matthew 3:26, And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.

Proverbs 8:5, You naive ones, gain prudence, you fools, gain sense.

Proverbs 17:24, On the countenance of a discerning person is wisdom, but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

Psalms 49:11, Indeed, he will see that the wise die, and the fool will perish together with the senseless, and they leave their wealth to others.

Psalms 53:2, The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They act corruptly and practice injustice; there is none that does good.

Proverbs 3:35, The wise will possess glory, but fools will bear shame.

Proverbs 13:16, The shrewd always act prudently but the foolish parade folly.

Proverbs 27:22, Though you pound fools with a pestle, their folly never leaves them.

Sirach 21:14, A fool’s mind is like a broken jar: it cannot hold any knowledge at all.

2 Timothy 2:23, Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels.

Proverbs 9:6, Forsake foolishness that you may live; advance in the way of understanding.

Proverbs 14:17, The quick-tempered make fools of themselves, and schemers are hated.

Psalms 74:18, Remember how the enemy has jeered, Lord, how a foolish people has reviled your name.

Proverbs 26:4, Do not answer fools according to their folly, lest you too become like them.

Proverbs 30:32, If you have foolishly been proud or presumptuous—put your hand on your mouth.

Ephesians 5:15, Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise.

Proverbs 1:7, Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 10:21, The lips of the just nourish many, but fools die for want of sense.

Proverbs 13:20, Walk with the wise and you become wise, but the companion of fools fares badly.

Proverbs 14:7, Go from the face of the fool; you get no knowledge from such lips.

Proverbs 15:2, The tongue of the wise pours out knowledge, but the mouth of fools spews folly.

Proverbs 17:28, Even fools, keeping silent, are considered wise; if they keep their lips closed, intelligent.

Proverbs 18:2, Fools take no delight in understanding, but only in displaying what they think.

Ecclesiastes 7:9, Do not let anger upset your spirit, for anger lodges in the bosom of a fool.

Ecclesiastes 10:2, The wise heart turns to the right; the foolish heart to the left.

Proverbs 18:7, The mouths of fools are their ruin; their lips are a deadly snare.

Proverbs 28:26, Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are safe.

Sirach 21:16, A fool’s chatter is like a load on a journey, but delight is to be found on the lips of the intelligent.

Sirach 21:26, The mind of fools is in their mouths, but the mouth of the wise is in their mind.

Sirach 22:11, Weep over the dead, for their light has gone out; weep over the fool, for sense has left him. Weep but less bitterly over the dead, for they are at rest; worse than death is the life of a fool.

1 Peter 2:15, For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people.

Jeremiah 5:21, Pay attention to this, you foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes and do not see, who have ears and do not hear.

Proverbs 16:22, Good sense is a fountain of life to those who have it, but folly is the training of fools.

1 Corinthians 1:18, The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:20, Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?

What’s the One Thing in Your Box?

I am in the middle of an interesting books right now titled Half Time, authored by Bob Buford. It talks about that time in each of our lives when we step back and decide to keep going in the same direction we have been headed or we decide to make a change.

It’s that moment when we look into the mirror and stare into our own eyes and ask “Is this all there is?” It’s a conscious decision to move from seeking success to finding significance. It happens in different ways, and at different points in life for each of us, whether we are 35, 55 or 75; whether we are high powered executives, desk jockeys or mechanics.

One of the most interesting things I read in the book is a challenge Mr. Buford was presented with when he was making the decision to move from the business world into ministry. He was counseled to figure out what was in his box.

The premise is that you have an empty box in front of you. You need to fill the box with the ONE thing that is most important in your life. What motivates you more than anything else? What gives your life meaning? What is your driving force?

Putting ONE thing in the box means a lot of stuff gets left out of the box.

Our boxes are often filled with a lot of stuff we love, which is relatively unimportant in the larger scheme. Thinking about the box and the one thing is very counter-cultural. Our whole world surrounds us with the idea that the more we have, and the more we get, and the busier we are, the happier we’ll be. Our world would have us cram the box full of what the world considers important (money, possessions, power, significance).

For any Christian we would certainly hope that our motivating force is God and that is what we would put in our box.

But our box may be so full of everything else that God is squeezed in to a corner among all the minutia that fills our box, or he is left out of the box entirely.

But if you have God in you box as the only thing that really matters, do you really need anything else?

In John Chapter 17 we hear the prayer of Jesus. He is acting as an intercessor and praying to the Father regarding the disciples that he is leaving behind as well as the disciples that will follow him in the future. He is asking for unity between the Father and the disciples, just as Jesus and God the Father were in unity.

This chapter of John’s gospel echoes the phrase “Be in the world but not of the world.” Being in the world means we are to be salt, light and leaven to those who need to hear the message of salvation. Not being of the world means we have the proper perspective between what is all around us and what is really important. Being in the world means we can use material things to fulfill God’s mission for us but not let those material items take on more importance that they deserve. Being in the world but not of it, helps us realize that the things of this world have no long term significance.

Material goods are only valuable if they help us serve the purpose God has for us. That doesn’t mean we have to drop out of the world, but rather that we must put worldly things in their proper perspective. We are able to separate the material goods we have from our sense of self worth.

We must never become too much at home in this world, or we will become ineffective in serving the God who made us. Peter wrote, “I urge you as strangers and sojourners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)

We are part of the Pilgrim Church on earth. Pilgrims are unattached. They are aware that that excessive accumulation of things can be a distraction. Material things are valuable to pilgrims, but only as they facilitate their mission. Things can entrench us in the present world, acting as chains around our legs that keep us from moving in response to God. When our eyes are too focused on the visible, they will be drawn away from the invisible.

For Lent, I encourage you to figure out what’s in your box. Are there so many items in your box that you are distracted? Does the box contain the one thing that facilitates your journey to God? Is the item in your box helping or distracting you from the destination of your pilgrim journey?

Find an empty box. At the end of each day write down a summary of your day. Where did you spend your time? Where did you spend your money? What did you think about the most? Where did you use your talents? What was your focus during the day?

Do that for one week. The following week, take one piece of paper out of the box each day and cross off those items which are not helping you on your pilgrimage. Do this for several weeks and you will slowly change your habits so that there is only one thing in your box. And that will be what is most important to you.

Give It Up!

Lent really snuck up on me this year, what about you? Feels like 2017 is flying by and Ash Wednesday crept up on us very quickly.

This is the time of year when we focus on our prayer life, offer alms and practice self-denial in order to become closer to Christ through the 40 days of Lent. Often one of those forms of self-denial is giving something up, like candy, chocolate, or a favorite TV program. These practices are a great way to concentrate Jesus’ passion and death and prepare for Easter.

Instead of reverting to your usual Lent thing to give up, I suggest you and your family take a look at your material possessions and give up some of the stuff you cling to even if it is crowding your closets, cabinets, drawers, garages and basements.

For some reason, we equate our material possessions (our stuff) with our very sense of self. Our things tie us to past memories. The china soup tureen is a reminder of grandma’s Christmas and Easter feasts where the whole family gathered to celebrate. That memory makes us hesitant to get rid of the soup tureen even if we haven’t used it in years, we never intend to use it, and it is irritating us each time we think about the space it is taking up in our cabinet.

Our material possessions also tie us to future dreams. The clothes that we don’t wear because they no longer fit bring us the hope of losing that excess twenty pounds someday. We ignore the fact that it’s been years since those twenty pounds piled on and the hope of actually losing the weight is slim (pun intended!) to none.

Our thought process is “Who knows when I might need this or that, and if I throw it away now I won’t have it when I need it.”

The “LetGo” commercials are a great take off on how much we cling to our stuff, even when we know it is no longer useful, we no longer need it, or it’s getting in the way of something better.

One of the commercials shows a woman in a swamp, fighting with an alligator over a sleeping bag, while her husband and child watch from shore. Another commercial shows a man clinging to a cliff by the fingertips of one hand while the other hand stubbornly grips a bowling ball. Then there’s the lady who is doing a tandem parachute jump but the instructor can’t pull the cord because she is firmly anchored to a sewing machine she hasn’t used in years, and the sewing machine is obstructing the parachute.

The way these people are clinging to their stuff is totally amusing, as they are risking life and limb to hold on to something that really isn’t very important. But the commercials also ring true, because we can identify with these people. How many of us hold on to stuff we may someday need? We no longer love it, use it or enjoy it and we know the stuff is in the way, but we can’t let go. How many of us let our stuff get in the way of more important things?

This trend to hold on to things is evident in the self-storage industry in the US. Of the 58,000 storage facilities worldwide in 2009, 46,000 were located in the United States. One in ten U.S. households now rent a self-storage unit. According to Wiki, the growing demand for self-storage in the US is created by people moving, by various lifestyle changes such as marriage, divorce, retirement, or a death in the family. I would also add that the demand for storage space is also fueled by our love of stuff.

Psychologists say we project our sense of self onto everything we own. Yet everything we own can often get in the way of something better.

Every material possession we own in some way owns us. Even if it’s only tucked away in a closet it’s THERE. Every time we open the closet that stuff is looming in our line of sight. Think about what sparks joy in your life. Is it the stuff or is it the more important things – faith, family, friends?

St Augustine said, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” Do you already have everything you really need? How much do you have that is needed by others?

Sometimes we act as if the material world and all of our stuff provides us with some kind of security, but more often than not, letting go can provide so much more like happiness, joy and peace. Yet we steadfastly cling to the things of this world.

In 1 John 2: 15-18, we read: “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

For Lent this year, try giving away one thing each day that will benefit someone else. Set aside a special place in the house with a box labeled “Give it Up.” Each day one person in the family contributes a usable item they are giving up. Rotate the daily contributor through the family starting with dad and mom, then the oldest to youngest child.

Each day, make a ritual of the contribution by gathering as a family when the designated person puts their contribution into the box. Hold a family prayer service by having the contributor say a prayer for the person who will receive the item.

At the end of Lent, you will have 40 perfectly usable items to contribute to the less fortunate. (Sundays are included in the 40 days of Lent!) When Lent ends on Holy Thursday, take the items to a local agency that helps those less fortunate, such as Catholic Charities; St. Vincent de Paul; or the outreach coordinator in your local parish.

Having a very tactile way to teach your children about giving up something that makes another life better will make a huge difference in your Lent this year.

Money and The Seven Deadly Sins

summit-cross-225578_1280We’ve just started the season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter in which Catholics pray, fast, and engage in acts of spiritual self-discipline. We do this in preparation for great feast of Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Christ. Easter is the greatest holy day of the Christian year (even above Christmas) and it is appropriate to prepare for such a holy day by engaging in spiritual practices.

Each of us makes daily choices to lead a godly life or to follow the temptations of our world. Often our attitude toward finances can be influenced negatively by the Seven Deadly Sins, which are pride; greed (or avarice); envy; wrath; lust; gluttony and sloth. The Catechism calls these ‘capital’ sins because they can lead to other sins.  

All of these are especially relevant in the area of finances and spending. Below are some traps it is easy to fall into:

Pride is a feeling that you are more important or better than other people. All human beings suffer from overconfidence, but Americans more than anyone. A prideful person can be overly optimistic about their ability to pay back debt, maintain their employment, and avoid any financial emergencies. But we all have those times when the car needs repairs, the washer breaks, there is a trip to the emergency room, or a secure job is suddenly pulled out from under us.  

Our pride can get in the way of preparing for these inevitable emergencies by saving for an emergency fund. The question is not IF you have an emergency, but WHEN that emergency will happen and how well you will be prepared.  Don’t let pride get in your way.

Greed is a selfish and excessive desire for more. It is an insatiable quest for wealth or gain. We can easily fall into the trap of greed by overbuying on those small items we purchase, but don’t really need. We also justify our greed by talking ourselves into spending too much money on a large purchase because we deserve it.  

After all, if you are spending $20,000 on a good used car, why not pay just a little more every month to get a new car?  The monthly payments are not that much more if you spread them out over a few more years. Focusing on the monthly payment, not the total price can mean paying thousands of dollars more in interest charges.

If you are buying a house, the realtor may show you homes which are thousands above your anticipated purchase price.  And once you see that more expensive home, it’s easy to fall in love with it and so hard to back down to the smaller home.  This is another case where looking at the monthly payment not the total cost is dangerous. Being greedy about what you deserve rather than what you need is a sure way to pay more money.

Envy is painful or resentful awareness of what someone has that you lack, joined with a desire to possess the same advantage. We often justify our spending based on what others around us are buying. If the neighbors just got a new one, it’s easy to feel like we deserve one too, no matter what that thing is and whether or not we really need it or will even use it.  With easy credit, we can talk ourselves into buying many things that were formerly considered luxuries, but we justify it as a need “because everybody has one.”

Wrath is a strong vengeful anger and often comes in the form of blaming others for your financial mistakes. Many people are angry at the lender when they can’t make payments on an item.  However, the lender is not responsible for making sure you don’t overspend – you are. Developing a strategy for your own personal finances is your responsibility.  No amount of wrath can justify your irresponsibility.

Lust is a strong desire for something, and it takes on many forms. It would be hard to find more than a handful of people who hadn’t lusted for a particularly desirable item at some point. And many times, lust takes the form of internet pornography, which is a very large hidden industry. It’s estimated that Americans spend between $10 billion and $13 billion on adult entertainment. That facet of lust often contributes to overwhelming debt.

Gluttony is greedy or excessive indulgence. You deserve that cookie so go ahead and eat it and maybe a couple more for good measure. While you’re at it, buy the bedroom set you can’t afford but deeply desire.

As a nation, the United States is both plainly fat from eating too much and overstuffed in the materialistic sense. The message from society in general can sometimes be: You work hard, so splurge. It’s very possible to have a house full of stuff and no money.  Just like eating food for no good reason other than the fact that it’s there, buying stuff just to have it is a dangerous game.

The advertisers know people will react to items on sale.  If a $100 item is on sale for 60% off, you can easily justify that you saved $60.  But did your savings account increase by $60?  Or did you really just spend $40 and not save $60?

Sloth is apathy and inactivity. Dealing with your finances can be easy to avoid as it takes some effort to get things organized and managed. However, ignoring your finances can have severe consequences. Avoiding problems is easy.  Solving them is hard, especially if you are facing past due bills, looming college costs or retirement in a few years.

The first step is including God in your finances: “If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth who will entrust you with true riches?” Luke 16:11

So you can choose to commit these 7 deadly sins, or work on bringing a little temperance into your financial life. The Catechism defines temperance as follows: “Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable (CCC 1809).”

The virtue of temperance is a good spiritual discipline for this season of Lent and will help you avoid the Seven Deadly Sins.

Thin Mints and Lent

thin-mint-182858_640The girl scouts are in front of the grocery store with those yummy cookies so Lent must be here. Have you ever noticed that girl scout cookie time and Lent seem to coincide each year? Maybe providing us with those thin mints right before many of us abstain from chocolate for 40 days is part of their marketing ploy!

Did Lent sneak up on you too? Seems like 2016 is flying by quickly and Lent being so early makes the year feel like it’s going even faster.

February 10th, Ash Wednesday, comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. It marks the beginning of the Season of Lent, a time of penance, reflection, and fasting in preparation for the great joy of the Easter Resurrection.

Traditionally as Catholics, we receive ashes in the sign of the cross on our foreheads as a visible symbol of our penitence. The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year and they symbolize the dust from which God made us.

As the ashes are applied to your forehead, you will hear the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” or “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Both of these expressions provide food for thought about our Lenten practices. Nothing here on earth (including us) is permanent and we must repent and believe in the Gospel in order to live full and vibrant lives here on earth.

During Lent, we are reminded to live our baptismal vows as others prepare to be baptized into the Catholic faith. We are called not just to abstain from sin during Lent, but to true conversion of our hearts and minds as followers of Christ.

Traditionally, people give up things for Lent, such as fasting from those chocolate thin mints, but a more challenging sacrifice may be to do something that’s out of your comfort zone. Here are some ideas for you to consider when you are thinking about what to do for Lent this year:

Go through the Holy Door. In celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy, every diocese around the world is supposed to open a Holy Door. These doors can be in the local cathedral or other churches of particular relevance, such as a Marian shrine. Look on your diocesan website to find the Holy Door in your diocese and make an effort to visit that site during Lent.

Don’t use credit. Give up those credit cards for 40 days. Use a debit card or cash instead of a credit card to stop piling up debt. This is also a way to be more prayerful and thankful for what you do have.

Be consciously grateful. Try keeping a gratitude journal each day of Lent and write down the things God gave you that day without you having to ask. Even hardships can be cause for thanks when you meditate on them.

Fast from spending one day each week during Lent. If you spend any time outside the four walls of your home, it’s almost impossible to go an entire day without spending money. There are bills to pay, gas to buy, lunches, groceries, incidentals, etc. that seem to gobble money at an alarming pace. Try to abstain from spending one entire day each week and see what happens.

Increase your attendance at Church. You may be a faithful attendee at Sunday Mass, but what about other times? Try going to Stations of the Cross each week, or attending daily Mass on a regular schedule during Lent or stopping by the parish for Eucharistic Adoration. The blessings from those increased spiritual exercises will spill over in to everything else in your life.

Increase your giving. What would happen if you were outrageously generous during Lent? Try doubling your weekly contributions to Church or making a large donation to a ministry that is on your heart. What would happen if you gave money to each homeless person you met during Lent? Or find someone at the grocery store and anonymously pay for their groceries if they appear to need help.

Volunteer. There are so many worthy charities that need volunteers to keep their mission alive. Try volunteering somewhere out of your comfort zone. You may just discover a new passion for service.

Set up a prayer corner. How many times have you told someone you would pray for them only to forget about it until the next time you saw them? Try setting up a prayer corner in your home where you write down the prayer intentions on your heart and keep track of when and how you prayed for that person. Then send them a card or note giving them specifics about your prayers for their intentions.

This Lenten season, instead of running away from those cute little kids in the green uniforms tempting you with cookies, try doing something out of your comfort zone. The life changes you make during Lent can last a lifetime.