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Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

My dear encountered couples:

When Jesus talks about keeping the law he is not talking about a legalistic approach, a literal keeping of the law, he is talking about the spirit of the law. How do we live the “Spirit of the Law?”

We are accustomed to making for ourselves a spiritual plan. It might be starting off the day with certain prayers, then Mass, later the stations or a rosary, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, some spiritual reading, and so on. Whatever it is we plan, we try to stick with it faithfully. It can become a routine part of our every day, no matter how much we sometimes might feel it a burden. It can bother our consciences when we don’t get it all in and we go to bed feeling guilty. We might even get a bit huffy towards others for interfering with our schedule and interrupting our prayers. “Get away, don’t bother me now, I have the rosary to pray.” I think you know what I mean. A schedule of prayers and religious practices can become our number one priority.

We must remember what Jesus is trying to tell us. It is living according to his words and those of his Father that we are to do. “Whoever breaks the least significant of God’s commands and teaches others to do so shall be called least in the kingdom of God. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God.” We all know what is at the heart of all God’s teachings and commands - love of God and neighbor. And that is what must be at the basis of all our prayers and practices.

We must not neglect praying, we must not give up meditating, we must keep ourselves open to God by any means the Church makes available to us. But we must not forget their purpose. When the needs of your family calls you away from your prayers, or interfere with your schedules, God’s will for you is your family. Carry out your Lenten practices as faithfully as you can, try to stick to what you have planned, but always remember, they are but a means to a loving end: Love of God, and love of neighbor.

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