Peace be with you!

My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.

Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!

*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*

*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lent has begun....

Hello Blogging World! Peace! This week in the Christian Circles began the season of Lent.  In Costa Rica like all over the world this sacred time began on Ash Wednesday, where ashes are placed on one's forehead in the shape of a cross. The ashes are made from the palm branches used on Palm Sunday. We celebrated 3 masses and a prayer service for the preschool, primary school, and high school.  I was blessed to preach at both the primary school mass and one of the high school masses.  I focused on doing acts of kindness in secret. This related to discourse of Matthew's Gospel about praying, fasting, and alms giving in secret without anyone knowing. I think that it went well, I received more complements than I accepted.

When I was a kind I thought that Lent was only about sin and mortification, but as an adult I am realizing that it is much more than.  Lent is not a time period to be in penance for the sake of penance, rather it is for the sake of living.  When I recognize my own sinfulness, I recognize my need for God, and that need for God helps me to truly live. Lent is not done for the sake of lent, rather for the Holy Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. As my professors at Oblate say "You get to the resurrection without going to Calgary", "There is no Easter Sunday without Holy Thursday and Good Friday", and my favorite "You can't skip the cross and go straight for the resurrection." That is not the way Jesus lived, and same goes for us.

I am excited more for this Lenten journey to Easter than ever before. I know that I have a long way to go, but our daily cross can lead to daily resurrections.

Blessing and Prayers ~ Fray Nader

PS: I will be posting more picture post this week, I have to reorganize all of my photos because I put two different photo libraries together over Christmas break and now I need to organize them.  I have photos from the same events in two or even three different places.

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