As we begin our Lenten journey, let us make it a time of spiritual renewal, especially through prayer and penance. Formerly the six weeks of Lent meant a time of severe penance as a way of purifying ourselves from our sinful habits and getting ready to celebrate the Paschal Mystery (the passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ), with a renewed commitment to follow Christ. In our present time, the Church leaves this Lenten practice of penance to the good will and generosity of us as individual Christians. So let us make Lent a time for our own personal time of reflection on where we stand as Christians in accepting the Gospel challenges in thought, word, and deed. Also, let it be a time to assess our relationships with our family, friends, working colleagues, and other people with whom we come in contact, including those within our own parish. We should examine whether we are able to make any positive contribution to other people’s lives and to try to eliminate the abuses which are part of our society. Let this Lenten journey be a time to renew our faith, deepen our relationship with the Lord, and be a positive impact on our personal and family relationships.