How’s your FAPA doing?

By Father Dennis Meinen
View from the Scooter

I love the CCD joke which tells about a teacher who was describing that when Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom, she turned into a pillar of salt.  A 7-year-old boy interrupted her.

“My mommy looked back once while she was driving,” he announced, “and she turned into a telephone pole.”

When I wrote this, we were in our first week of Lent. I asked some residents how they were doing with the FAPA (Fasting, Abstinence, Prayer and Almsgiving). One resident said she didn’t have to abstain since she was older than 59, but she really felt like she should because she was born in a leap year.

Another resident told me he was still in Mardi Gras! (Thank God there are 40 days of Lent.) I’ve been reading from my daily office about Moses, Pharaoh and the Israelites. Remember that Pharaoh was obstinate and would not let the Israelites go, so God sent plagues like frogs, grasshoppers, bloody water and so much more. Finally, God sent the angel of death to visit each home that did not have the blood of the lamb on their doorpost and lintel. Sadly, the first born of their family would die.

God’s ways are not our ways. If we follow our own path instead of God’s way, we will stray off the course like Pharaoh, the Israelites, Lot’s wife, people who drive while texting and the distracted mother who turned into a pole. Let that be a lesson to you. Keep your eyes on the goal this Lenten season.

On April 14, Good Friday, we will journey with our Suffering Servant, Jesus, the Lamb of God, as we join in prayer for the Divine Mercy Novena. Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy, April 23, the second Sunday of Easter, be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom he said:

“These souls cause me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that my soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to my mercy.”

We will meet in the Holy Spirit Chapel at 3 p.m. for the Good Friday Communion Service which includes Scripture, Veneration of the Cross and The Divine Mercy Chaplet. The Divine Mercy Novena will be recited in the Holy Spirit Chapel at 3:15 p.m. on its remaining days.

Jesus said, “I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.”

Keep your eyes on the goal!

Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese and Calix for Siouxland, and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.


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