For Catholics, as well as for millions of other
Christian believers, Lent is a special time of prayer. It
is a time to not only pray for one’s own needs, but also for those
Is Lent also a special time of prayer in your own
life? I sure hope so.
If you don’t spend a lot of time in prayer during the
rest of the year, please do
try to give a little more attention to prayer during our 2014
Lenten season. The time
you give over to prayer this coming Lenten season will be time very
I’m sure your needs and those of your loved ones are
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 5, please begin to
ask the Lord daily for a favorable answer to your most important
needs, that you might receive. In your Lenten prayers, seek, so that you might find. In your Lenten prayers, knock on heaven’s door that
those doors of hope and healing might be opened unto you.
Pray with patience. Pray with persistence. Pray with deep faith and hope, all the while believing that
your prayers can and will be answered.
I just reread a note I received a couple of years ago
from a 97-year old nun. She
told me she was going blind and that any letters she received had
to be read to her by another person. She said to me, “Patience
is now my most cherished virtue. Please say a prayer for me that I don’t run out of patience.” This summer she will celebrate
her 100th birthday. I’m
still praying that she will not run out of patience and that she
will indeed live to celebrate her 100th birthday.
I personally plan to spend a lot of time this coming
Lenten season praying for my own needs, yes, but a lot more time praying for the needs of others,
and most especially for the needs of our Immaculate Heart of Mary
So, as one of our dear and cherished friends, I do
very much hope that you will please let me know about the needs in
your life which you would like included in my 2014 Lenten
prayers. One of my most
important responsibilities and ministries as a priest is to pray
for the needs of others. I
daily pray, “Lord, through my ministry of prayer, please do
make me an instrument of your peace.”
On the enclosed form you will find the outline of a
cross. I call it a Lenten
Prayer Cross, and on it I would like you to please write one or
more of your special prayer needs. You may also simply write your name on this cross. After
I receive this cross back from you, it will be attached to one of
our special 2014 Lenten Prayer Banners which will be displayed here
at the Shrine during the whole Lenten season.
While I will pray for each of the needs written on all
our Lenten Prayer Banner Crosses, our community of priests,
brothers, and seminarians will do the same. All those who visit and pray in
Our Lady’s Shrine Chapel will likewise be asked to pray for the
needs written on these many Lenten Crosses.
Since the space on your Lenten Prayer Cross is
limited, please write any
additional prayer needs on the back side of the form on which the
Lenten Cross is printed. These prayer petitions will also be taken to the Shrine
Chapel to be prayed for from the first day of Lent to its last day,
When sending me your Lenten prayer petitions I hope
you can also please direct some of your Lenten almsgiving to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine. Perhaps you could set aside a quarter, a half dollar, or
even a dollar or two for each day of Lent in support of the Shrine
and our many outreach ministries? We deeply believe our ministry is God’s will, and that is why I continually
invite you to be part of our important spiritual mission.
May your 2014 Lent be the very best Lenten experience
of your entire life. That is
my prayer today, and that prayer will continue to be prayed on each
and every day of Lent.
love of the Lord,
Fr. Raymond M. Dien, CMC
P.S. During this year’s Lenten season
please focus as much as possible on the things which really have
lasting importance in your life, like
prayer. For some, this
coming Lent will be their last Lent. If
you and I would face Lent of 2014 as perhaps our last Lenten
season, I’m sure each of us would approach these six prayer and
penitential weeks with much more devotion and seriousness.