Lent: a season, a moment, and a period of preparation.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI noted in 2006 "that Christian life is a never-ending combat in which the ‘weapons' of prayer, fasting and penance are used. Fighting against evil, against every form of selfishness and hate, and dying to oneself to live in God is the ascetic journey that every disciple of Jesus is called to make with humility and patience, with generosity and perseverance."
At Catholic Charities of Tennessee, it seems as if every day, in some fashion, is a battle against the "never-ending combat" of life the pope spoke of.
It is a battle to...
• House the family with children who recently ended up on the street after a bad stroke of luck.
• Provide healthy perishable food options to the widowed retiree to supplement a tight food budget.
• Ensure that low income family infants and toddlers have the basics they need - clean diapers and formula - to start their lives on the right footing.
• Offer unemployed clients opportunities to work their way back into the labor force.
• Welcome refugees fleeing incomprehensible situations in their homeland to start life all over here in Middle Tennessee.
• Offer hope in the midst of discouragement, as our counselors do for clients of all ages dealing with life's struggles.
And these are only a few of the "battles of life" with which we regularly deal.
This Lent, won't you please consider sharing in our mission - whether for the first time or again! - and help us provide pathways to hope, as we work with our neighbors in need to move them through and past their battles? Your critically needed financial support - a Lenten sacrifice - allows us to continue to provide many of our 40+ services, serving all, regardless of age, sex, faith tradition, or country of origin.
Won't you help us to continue to reach out and provide hope to those in need? May Lent 2017 be a blessed journey for you, full of reminders, full of hope.