Christian Brothers College High School

Students gathered outside the Blessed Mother Grotto
De La Salle statue
Mother-Son Mass photo
Graduation Day
Front of school

Lenten Reflections 2020

Update: With public Mass celebrations suspended , Fr. DePorres has created a list of livestreamed Mass sites, Catholic TV and Radio, and prayer resourcesHere is a link to local parishes in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis with Mass schedules for livestreamed Masses.

 

(Audio versions of the High School Lenten Reflections can be found at: https://thefriar.org/lent-2020/high-school-lenten-reflections/)

 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

 

The verse before the gospel says, blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance. This is so important right now in the world today as everyone is struggling to get through this hard time in our lives.  People all around the world are questioning why this virus is here in our lives this day. People are questioning God why he would do this to us. Why would he make people suffer in these hard times? But everything that God does, he does with a purpose. There is a purpose to everything single thing in our lives. We must keep the word with a generous heart and fight through this difficult time. We must show courage and perseverance and help others who are struggling along with us. If we do these things as a community and stay in this fight together, then we will come out stronger on the other end and God will know that we trusted in him and that he can trust in us.

 

-- Jacob Boaz, Class of 2020

 

Friday, March 27, 2020

 

On Wednesday, once I finished all of my online schoolwork for the day, I decided to ride my bike around my neighborhood which is not something I do too often. I rode to many different parks and playgrounds only to be met with signs that said, “CLOSED until further notice.” I understood the reasoning behind these signs, but it still upset me that kids cannot play in these places during this difficult time.

Riding around I saw many parents trying to entertain their kids in the front lawns of their houses as best they could. I realized that although this crazy situation we find ourselves in may be difficult, it really is a perfect time to realize all the amazing things that God has given us in our lives. During this point in time, we may find ourselves frustrated and bored because we can’t see others that we often see or do things that are a part of our daily routine. However, this is also a great time to discover new things about ourselves or even listen to what God is trying to tell us.

As I made my final few laps around the neighborhood, I noticed a man outside his house putting up a sign that he had created. It was made from two posts, a sheet, and some sort of tape. The posts held up the sheet that had, “WE WILL ALL GET THRU THIS” written on it with the tape. I believe that because I decided to take a step back from the reality around me and enjoy a bike ride around the neighborhood I was able to discover a message of comfort from God in this uncertain time. I realized that God is giving us comfort right now and the best way to find it is to take time to step away from the craziness of this world and be with Him.

-- Luke Brumfield, Class of 2020

 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

 

In our modern world, everything seems to be continually be moving faster than we can actually recognize. From technology virtually training us to expect instant gratification, to simply being at a point in our lives where we have to manage a lot of things at once such as school, friends, sports, etc., we are losing the ability to slow down and recognize the blessings and joys which were placed in our lives by God.

 

Just last week, I was given the opportunity to recognize how much I have overlooked some of these blessings. On one hand, my grandpa passed away and I was left having to think about all the times that I spent with him and how there was so much more that I could have done to show how much I loved him.

 

On the other hand, my older brother got married and I got to see firsthand the pure joy that my brother and his wife could bring to each other. It really helped me to recognize that we all need to take time to find the joy of those in our lives whether they are family or friends or even strangers. This Lent we have the opportunity to try and slow down our lives to refocus on what and who is truly important. Once we refocus on the real blessings of our life, we will recognize the greatness of the One who loves us so much to place them in our lives.

-- Damian Clucas, Class of 2020

 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

 

Today’s first reading, from Deuteronomy, tells us how we should uphold the laws and customs that we have been given and put them into practice in our daily lives. Rather than shying away from these responsibilities and forgetting about them, this reading tells us to keep these in our hearts and teach them to our children and their children as well. If you do this, the passage explains how we will be seen as wise beyond our years and role models to all that look up to us.  Another reading, from the Gospel of Matthew, tells us basically the same message. “Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.” This passage explains what our goals should be for this Lent- living in the image of God and spreading his word to everyone. This Lent, we are called to uphold the foundations of our faith and teach them to others so that when the time may come, we will be ready to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven as the best person we can possibly be along with those that we have helped along the way. To conclude this reflection, I leave you with this excerpt from the first reading, “And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs which I am teaching you today, so that, by observing them, you may survive to enter and take possession of the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you.” We should always remember to uphold these laws and customs in order to become the best person that we can possibly be this Lent.

 

-- Patrick Johann, Class of 2022

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! When we hear of St. Patrick, we think of green clovers, drinking, parades, corned beef and cabbage, and parties. But how many of us think of the amazing Apostle of Ireland, St. Patrick?

St. Patrick was born in the 4th century. When he was sixteen, he was captured by Irish pirates. He was called by God to preach to the people of Ireland. He is most known for his teaching of the Trinity. He used a three-leaf clover to show that the Trinity, like the clover, had three parts within one.

 

St. Patrick faced persecution for spreading God’s message, but he never stopped. It is also believed that during a 40-day fasting period, St. Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland. St. Patrick’s life is a great example of how we should live our lives. But how can all this tie into Lent in 2020?

 

Today in 2020, we are persecuted for our faith too. We don’t face the same degree of persecution that St. Patrick faced, but it is truly there. Our friends might make fun of us or exclude us just because we are Catholic. This Lent, I challenge you to stay true to God and pray for those who persecute you. Lent is also about resisting temptation, just like Jesus did in the desert, which is why we give something up for Lent. It is not easy to resist temptation and stay true to our Lenten promise, which is why it is also called a Lenten challenge. When you face temptation, remember how St. Patrick dealt with temptation and try to resist it. Be like St. Patrick and banish those snakes of temptation out of your life this Lent. If you find yourself struggling this Lent, I challenge you to pray the breastplate prayer of St. Patrick. The breastplate prayer, or The Lorica, is a reminder that we should fight all challenges in our lives with prayer. The section of the breastplate prayer that I challenge you to pray this lent is the following:

 

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in the hearts of all that love me,

Christ in the mouth of friend and stranger.

 

-- Xander Johnson Class of 2023

 

Monday, March 16, 2020

 

So it is that time year again, Lent. For the longest time I dreaded this time of year because I had to eat the gross fish for school lunch every Friday. I did not look deeper into the faith behind why I gave certain things up, whether that be meat or my own personal offerings.

 

As I have gone through high school I have grown to be a man of Christ. I have gone deeper into my faith, and I have matured as a person. I have realized that this season is more than just giving something inconvenient up or eating the gross fish at lunch, it is a time to grow closer to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

 

I am going to eat the fish with a smile on my face because I know that when I refrain  from eating meat that I can think about Jesus in that moment which in return puts a smile on my face. I am not going to just give something inconvenient up for Lent, I am going to do something that will truly bring me closer to Jesus. Which is what this season is all about. Growing closer to Jesus.

 

So I encourage you to give something up that isn’t just a minor inconvenience to you, but something that will help you as a person and help you grow closer to Jesus Christ through the process of giving that certain thing up. Lent is whatever you make it out to be. If you choose to dread the season and not work on yourself, then there will be no improvements, but if you do choose to make the most out of this season, wonderful things are coming your way.

 

-- David Miller, Class of 2020

 

Sunday, March 15, 2020

 

Lent… It’s a time of preparation. It’s a time of waiting. In the book of Exodus, the Israelites were complaining to Moses saying “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?” It was at this point after years of trusting Moses, which they finally questioned what they were looking for. What was this piece of land? Have you ever lost faith in Jesus? Now is the time to get closer to him. Now is the time to get focused and get mentally prepared. He will be rising soon. Be there cause Jesus wants you there.

 

-- Cade Walsh, Class of 2020

 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

During Lent it is important to humble yourself. Many people remain blind to God’s love, although everyone feels it. Lent is a time to sacrifice something important to you, to open your eyes to the thing that’s been important to you all long. Within this passage, we learn the importance of feeling God’s love no matter how far away from it we stray. That though we may not recognize his love at the start, it will be there for us at the end. Although his love is with us always, it is up to us on how close it follows.

We tend to overthink things. Eventually leading to the overlooking of God’s love. We all get so spun up n day to day activities that we forget to look at the basic building blocks of peace. The quiet on a ride home. Or the exact opposite. Those moments of personal peace are different for everyone. Yet they are always going to be the simplest examples of God’s love.

 

-- Grayson Starkey, Class of 2020

 

Friday, March 13, 2020

 

Today is a great day already. It’s a Friday and it’s a Friday before Spring Break while we are all getting ready to pack our bags and go to Florida or someplace warm. It is also…Friday the 13th. It is a day of great superstition and fear mostly popularized by the movie, “Friday the 13th.” Surprisingly, today is also two birthdays of my friends named Nick (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, by the way)!

 

There are a lot of things going on today in our world and sometimes the fear in the world may distract us from what is already good in life. Some of you may have heard of this virus called COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) creating some real chaos in the world. This virus has caused some great confusion in society such as: What really is COVID-19? What is going to happen within our schools, families, and friends? For parents, how will we be able to work in this environment of fear?

 

There are just a lot of questions that make us truly uneasy. It is a scary time, and it may be easy to say not to panic, but the truth is the world is panicking and we don’t know who to trust anymore except probably the CDC.

 

But I just want to remind you of something truly important. I was reading the passage in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus and his disciples are out in the boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was asleep at that moment, and out of nowhere a storm swells up. Waves start crashing, thunder and lightning clash together in an epic roar, and drops of rain fall from the heavy sky. The disciples were in complete panic mode. They were rushing to get the water out of the boat and urged Jesus to wake up. It seemed that the disciples might not survive the storm and that all is in despair, but suddenly Jesus awoke and pleaded with the disciples to calm down and he commanded the sea and the sky to calm down. The disciples said that who is Jesus that even the earth and the sky obey him?

Just like in this moment in the world, we are in a storm. We don’t know when the storm will end, but we do know to trust in Our Lord always. When there is just too much going in our lives it is essential to give our burdens to the Lord to give us peace in this distress.

 

In these uncertain times, I urge all of you to talk with Jesus whenever you get stressed out about the virus or anything that’s really bothering you because he will calm the storm always and give you peace. Like always, I will be praying for y’all and I hope you have a blessed and hopeful Spring Break!

 

-- Alex Ramirez

 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

 

On the second Thursday of Lent, we hear and reflect upon the Gospel of Luke 16:19-23. The story of the rich man and Lazarus might be hard for us, whose lifestyle stands in sharp contrast with a majority of people in the world who live on much less. Like so much else that Luke says about money and possessions, it stands as a stinging indictment not only of the great confidence we place in financial security, but also of the drastic inequities between rich and poor we allow to perpetuate. The ability to help someone that is in need during hard times gives you the gift of growing closer to God. Reading this gospel means that we as followers of Christ must remember to be deeply connected with our faith and be able to give our gifts to others in need.

-- Patrick Carr, Class of 2020

 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

 

Lent is a time that offers us an opportunity to come to terms with our human condition and open the doors of our heart wider to understand our Lord a little bit deeper. For Lent we all decide what we are going to give up or what we are going to do, but in my opinion Lent is more like Advent where we prepare for Jesus’s coming. 

 

The summary of today’s reading is, that it  has already been determined by God who gets positions of authority. No one is able to sit on the throne in God’s kingdom because disciples are a servant to the servant, like when Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. In God’s kingdom the best position is not on a throne, but it is taking care of people. This would be like if the president would go out and serve the homeless and give them food and money. In God’s kingdom the water boy of the team would be a more humbling position in God’s kingdom than the captain of a team. If you’re the captain of the team and you yell at your teammates when they mess up you are abusing your authority. If you’re the captain and you help people out when they mess up and talk to them on how they can adjust then you are using your authority better.

 

-- Andrew Siemer, Class of 2022 

 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

 

During Lent, it is important to remember that God is always with us, through the good times and bad times. Lent is all about the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins and is the perfect time to do this. During Ash Wednesday we received ashes in the shape of a cross on our forehead and heard the words "Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return". This is very meaningful to me because it is a reminder that God has forgiven me and is always with me through this time of Lent and throughout the rest of the year as well.

 

-- Joseph Feltz, Class of 2020

 

Monday, March 9, 2020

 

For me, I start Lent strong, going in with a positive attitude ready to commit. But as the days fly by it gets harder and harder to keep my Lenten promise. Even if you are keeping your Lenten promise just fine, if your Lenten promise isn’t bringing you closer to God than it really doesn’t matter. That’s what we have to get into our heads. Lent is not about giving up chocolate or soda. It is about growing in your relationship with the Lord. If that means praying a rosary every day or as little as waking up and thanking the Lord for that day, as long as you are growing closer to the Lord in your fasting or promise you are doing the right thing. If you are doing well with your Lenten promise, make a promise with your friends so that you all can grow closer to the Lord as group. This is what I need to work on this lent and I hope that this helps you to grow closer to Jesus this Lent.

 
-- Joshua Molina, Class of 2023
 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

 

On this second Sunday of Lent, we hear and reflect upon the Gospel of Matthew 17:1-9. Within this particular passage, the transfiguration occurs in which Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up on top of a high mountain and transfigures before them, with Moses and Elijah appearing and speaking with Jesus. Through this reading, God is telling us that Jesus has just created the place in which the temporal world and the eternal world would meet. Jesus himself had just become the connection and the bridge between heaven and earth through his submission to God in all aspects of his life. Through reading about this event, we as followers of Christ must remember to continue to have perseverance through this time of Lent in our fasting and dedication of prayer so that we can show our discipleship through the giving of ourselves.

 

-- Ryan McGraw, Class of 2020

 
Friday, March 6, 2020
 

In the time of Lent, it is important to remember the significance of fasting. As Catholics we withdraw and fast during the time of Lent just as Jesus did for 40 days. When we fast during Lent we pay respects for the remarkable things Jesus did during the time of his withdrawal during his 40 days in the desert, and for his sacrifice on the Cross. It is important to be respectful and to partake in the fasting during Lent to show our respect to Jesus Christ.

 

-- Owen Henken, Class of 2020

 
Thursday, March 5, 2020
 
When I was thinking of what to give up for Lent, I had a really tough time. I kept going back and forth, never able to think of something that really mattered or that would make much of a difference in my relationship with God. I decided to just be practical about it and give up a social media app, which I figured would cut down on my procrastination and allow me to focus on my homework more. So far it has worked exactly as I planned, and I am finishing my homework with extra time to spare. I have even been getting to bed earlier which allows me to get more sleep which I desperately need.
 
However, this sacrifice has also come with unexpected benefits that I had not even considered going in. In my newfound free time I have been spending a lot more time praying and thinking about my faith. I feel that in such a short time, and by giving up something so small, I have actually been able to strengthen my relationship with God, which I wasn’t expecting. This experience has taught me that I, along with probably many other teenagers, live a very cluttered life. I am always trying to fill my time with something, always stimulating my brain in some way, and not always with good things. I wasn’t leaving enough time for God, who really should come first. By simply removing one aspect of my life which was totally unnecessary and useless, I have gained something so great. The beginning of this Lent has been a great lesson for me which I will carry with me in all of my Lents to come. From now on, I will ask myself, “What is cluttering my life and taking time away from God?” I believe in doing this, I can make much more meaningful sacrifices in the future.
 
-- Jack Christian, Class of 2020
 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
 

Today marks one week into our spiritual journey in this season of Lent. The Scripture readings for today had a profound effect on me and the way that I view Lent. In the readings we are reminded of another aspect of Jonah’s story; we hear how Jonah warned the people of Nineveh to turn away from their evil ways and repent before God. Even the King of Nineveh listened to Jonah and repented by choosing to fast and wear sack cloth. We also hear how Jesus used the story of Nineveh to tell his disciples how important it is to be faithful to God.    

 

These stories are both very dramatic, but they hold an important truth. That when one truly repents and asks for forgiveness in both word and action, God forgives. The story of the King is especially important because it shows us how important it was for him to cast aside his robe and humble himself before God. He didn’t just say he was sorry, he proved it by his actions. It is not enough just to pray and speak the words, you must show God how your striving to be a better person in your actions.

 

For me that is was Lent is really all about: asking for forgiveness but also showing God by my actions that I really mean it. It is not solely about giving things up that are important to me. It’s about how I live every day and the ways in which I try to be a better person during Lent and always.
 
-- Callum Stewart, Class of 2020
 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

 

So many times as we begin Lent, we ask ourselves what we are “going to give up” or what we are “going to do” to draw closer to God. Often we will take time before the start of the season to list these specific checkboxes that we set out for ourselves. We say “Number 1: I will pray five minutes when I wake up, 2: I will give up social media every other day,...” and so on. The problem with making these specific targets is that we lose sight of their purpose. Instead of focusing on how they are bringing us closer to God this Lent, we focus on checking off our Lent bucket list. We create our own penances and sacrifices based on what we think is best for us. These are not always what we need to bring us closer to God in our own personal situations. As a result, at the end of Lent we often are left with the feeling that we could have done more. This is because it is not us who fully understand what we need, but God.

 

God knows what is truly good for us. He knows us inside and out -- better than we know ourselves. The actions and sacrifices we may think will strengthen our relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit this Lent may bring us to a shallower level than what God has in mind for us. By allowing the Lord to guide us through the Lenten season, we can achieve a much deeper and more meaningful encounter with Him. In the 1st reading this morning from Isaiah, the prophet speaks of the Lord “Giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats.” God knows our individual needs. He knows what needs to change in each of our own personal situations during this season. This is why we cannot limit ourselves to our own reforms. During this Lent, we must open our hearts to the Lord to accept what He wants us to do. If God perfectly and wholly knows your current state right now and if He has a plan for your salvation, does it not make sense that He would also know the best road to Him?

 

Take time in silence today, and each day of this Lent to simply let the Holy Spirit breathe into you His desires for you. Just let go of whatever predictions or standards you have for this season and listen to God's voice. What is God trying to say to you? His plan doesn’t need to be something you do everyday just to check the box. Realize that He is calling you a more whole and complete Lent. Instead of solely changing your habits, ask for God’s assistance in changing attitude, sharpening conscience, or deepening your relationship with Him through whatever means that He desires. What is important is that we remember that God wants us to have the best Lent ever. He, not we, can give ourselves a transformative, meaningful, and profound Lenten experience. For as Christ said to His apostles, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
 
-- Brendan Benigno, Class of 2022

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

 

On this day of Lent I am looking for another fresh start as I always do on Monday. Lent is what people look to as a fresh start to try and give up something. For this season of Lent I am doing something different, instead of letting myself decide I am letting the Holy Spirit decide what I should give up. I encourage you to do this as well, as it is very rewarding and meaningful. I hope you all have a fulfilling Lent this and every year forwards!

 

Today’s gospel reading is all about the Lord: his words are Spirit and Life. There is one quote in the readings that I found very powerful. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.” MT 25:31-46. This is saying that not only will Jesus come down from heaven and rescue us but he will also bring an army of angels. That to me means that no matter what happens Jesus will come with his army to rescue each and every one of us. He will come to rescue you and me. How powerful this that to know that the Lord will always rescue us in our darkest times? As I wrap up this reflection I leave you with this. Live every day as your last. 2 COR 6:2B. “Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
 
-- Johnny Wagner, Class of 2022
 
Sunday, March 1, 2020
 

“Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” –Austrian-German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

 

Life is hard. Its ongoing pressures, injustices, war, famine, disease, suicide, and depression. Making the right decision isn’t always the easiest one to make and we can be tempted time and time again into breaking ourselves and our ideals.

I know for me it was through my experience with my mixed belief in God, which was always difficult to live with. I know that in the course of my life I always struggled with the sheer belief that a God existed. And time and time again, when life got hard, it became increasingly hard to believe. I remember attending weekly mass, not out of my own intention instead out of my parents, and always losing interest for a portion of my time every single Sunday, labeling it as a “waste of time.” I was tempted. Tempted to not believe in a religion that I didn’t quite fully comprehend and tempted to leave it. Especially when life became tough at times, it was easier to fall into that temptation. It took time and an openness of the heart to fully immerse myself in the Catholic faith. There wasn’t a voice or overwhelming feeling calling me to my faith, rather it was the decision to choose that mattered. I needed to make the choice to live my faith, through the toughness and fatigue of life.

You have the power to choose and make decisions each and every day that can challenge or enforce your beliefs. Everything you could do or where you end up depends on the choices you make. The best version of yourself, lies in how you characterize yourself and how you choose to become that each day. In today’s Gospel, Jesus faced the temptation from Satan three times while in the desert. In all of them, Satan offered Jesus everything any person could have ever wanted. Jesus refused. He affirmed himself to his own beliefs and stuck by them. He choose to face away from temptation. And in the end when Satan left, angels came to minister to Jesus, praising him.

To come back to my previous sentiment, life is hard. Believing and sticking by to any single belief is hard. Whether that’s waking up at 5 in the morning to go to the gym before school, eating only plant-based foods, attending daily sports practice, spending time with family, keeping relationships, or even believing in a God, the main message is all the same. In which anything that anyone commits themselves to requires consistent effort to achieve or maintain something important within their lives. This Lent, whether you may be religious or not, I urge you to stand by your beliefs and your ideals in the sole pursuit that it will result in the very best version of you. In other words, I urge you to stick by beliefs and ideals that make you the best you. Live your faith in ways that make sense to you and continue or start to strive for the version of you that lives to the fullest, free from any grasp of fear, confinement, or temptation in this world. Keep pushing forward, any feeling you are experiencing now is temporary, make use and live that notion to the fullest.
 
-- Carlos Mendoza, Class of 2020
 
Saturday, February 29, 2020
 

The daily reading today, February 29, summarized in one sentence, is this: “if you live and trust in the way that God is leading you, you will flourish.” After reading this, I realized how much the reading has related to my time at CBC.

 

Going into CBC, I knew I wanted to try out for both soccer and basketball, I wound up getting cut from both. It wasn’t what I wanted at the time, but instead of hanging my head, I decided to trust that God was leading me in the right path. I decided to try out Cross Country, and I wound up loving it. While I wasn’t very fast freshman year, I decided to really start putting in the work, and I started running varsity during my sophomore year of track. After I achieved this goal, I knew that God had been working my life to where I knew I would be the happiest.

 

So now I ask all of you this question; What’s one time if your life you had to trust in God’s plan even if you didn’t like it at the time—could even be right now—perhaps you didn’t get into the college of your dreams—perhaps you got in, but they didn’t give you enough financial aid—Perhaps you didn’t get the score you wanted on a test—perhaps you didn’t make that team—I promise you, if you trust in God, he is leading you to a better place, even if you don’t like it currently.
 
-- Alex Murray, Class of 2020
 
Friday, February 28, 2020
 

The readings for February 28th really speak to me and God’s message for us. We are transitioning from ordinary time into the season of Lent in preparation for the coming of our Lord and Christ, our Savior Jesus. We have marked ashes across our foreheads on Ash Wednesday to signify that Jesus is with us. With these ashes we are protected from sin and we are saved. During this Lenten season you may have just recently given up something important to you. You may have made a vow to give up sugar, or maybe you made a vow to be more involved in your faith, or maybe you even made a vow work on your relationships with you family, friends, and even God. During this Lenten season, I am gearing my mind towards serving others who need help and being the best role model for others that I can possibly be.

 

Lent can often be thought of as a time that you must give something up that you really enjoy, or you maybe have to work on yourself, or you may even be at the age where the church advises that you fast. You may be questioning why you have to do this for just 40 days. However, I challenge you to look at this season in a different perspective. During this Lenten season try to focus your mind and actions on putting others needs before you own and trying to make a positive difference in the lives of others for these 40 days and beyond. Lent is a time of penance and a time for forgiveness as we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. I challenge you to put your best foot forward and to focus on not what you have for the time being, rather the new meaning and perspective are gaining in your life.
 
-- Patrick Donovan, Class of 2020
 
Thursday, February 27, 2020

 

Welcome to the second day of Lent! The season of Lent, to me, is about cleansing the heart and identifying what is causing hatred or despair in our own lives and having an open willingness to address these things. But oftentimes, I find myself giving up in the beginning because it’s too hard or I just forget about it and then as a result, I don’t get much out of Lent. But being a senior involved in the Student Leadership Council and Brothers in Prayer, I’ve learned over the years that the more you’re committed to something through the ups and downs, the more rewarding and satisfying the outcome is at the end and so I encourage you that whatever you are focusing on or giving up, stick with it through the tough times and you will find your answer.

 

On this Thursday, February 27th, we hear in the first reading from Moses who states that if “you are led astray and adore and serve other gods” then you “will certainly perish” and “will not have a long life.” This isn’t meant to be taken in the literal sense but for me, it is symbolic as worshipping other gods represents the things in our lives that distract us from loving God such as material possessions and wealth. In my life, I reflect on my phone usage (social media) as being a distraction from God and how I spend so much time on Snapchat and Instagram and how it has become an addiction. As a result, I often let the content I see influence how I behave in the present and let something small affect my mood. This Lent, I plan to limit my phone usage by setting limits on my phone on specific apps so that I have more time freed up to live in the present and see what God has planned in my life. I hope that for whatever you are giving up or doing for the season of Lent, have an intent of why you’re doing it and truly challenge yourself in making your heart pure and anew. Challenging yourself is easier when you have friends who join you so invite your friends to do similar promises and hold each other accountable to truly remember this Lenten season! Best of luck everyone and God bless!

 
-- Matthew Lewis, Class of 2020
 
Ash Wednesday, February 26, 2020
 

“Brothers and sisters: So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

-2 Corinthians 5:20

 

What is the purpose of Lent? As we begin the Lenten season of 2020, it’s a very important question we all must ask ourselves. The first answer that might have come to you was probably something along the lines of “Lent is a season of repentance and reconciliation, with the goal of deepening our personal relationship with Christ.” While this answer is entirely true, the first line in today’s second reading suggests that we can dig even deeper into the meaning and purpose of lent. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul is reminding us that we are “ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” For those who aren’t quite sure what an ambassador is, the terms comes from a word that means meaning servant or minister.”

 

When I hear the word ambassador, I think of what it means to be a CBC ambassador. A CBC ambassador is given the duty of best representing CBC as an institution and everything it has to offer, to the general public, with the goal of drawing people (mostly potential students) into the CBC community. Although there is a specific program dedicated to CBC ambassadors, I think it is fair to say that simply by being part of the community, each and every member is given the implied duty of being a CBC ambassador to some degree.

 

It is the same for each and every member of the body of Christ, in the sense that each and every member is called to be an “ambassador for Christ.” We are all called to model the Christian life by loving our neighbors as Christ would, and through that love bring them into relationship, or deeper relationship with Christ. The Catechism of Catholic Churches elaborates on this beautifully saying those who with God's help have welcomed Christ's call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ's faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.

 

What does being an ambassador have to do with Lent?” Well, it is said that “you cannot give what you do not have.” In regards to the spiritual life, you cannot lead people closer to Christ if you are not close to Christ yourself. In order to be an effective ambassador of Christ, we must have a deep relationship with Christ ourselves. The season of Lent is a liturgical season dedicated to growing closer to Christ through fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. We should give our best efforts to grow closer to Christ not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of bringing others closer to Christ. The conversion of others’ hearts is dependent upon the continual conversion of our own in a very real way. God has given us the gift of participation in salvation history, and God is counting on us to bring others into relationship with him. So, one of the most important questions we must ask ourselves this lent is, “who in my life, am I going to grow closer to Christ for this Lent?”

 
-- Luke Hammett, Class of 2020