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March Chaplain's Reflections

U.S. Air Force Chaplain (1st Lt.) Father Samuel M. Gray, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Jan. 8, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard by Airman 1st Class Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Chaplain (1st Lt.) Father Samuel M. Gray, assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Jan. 8, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard by Airman 1st Class Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Welcome to Lent! This past Wednesday, the chaplains went around base giving out ashes in the sign of the cross upon the foreheads of those Airmen who wanted them. This literally marked the beginning of Lent. For the Christian, Lent is a time of intense spiritual growth that lasts forty days in imitation of the time Jesus spent in the desert. But what do we do during these forty days? Pray, fast, and give alms.

         

Of these practices, prayer has the first place. Spiritual growth begins with prayer and is born out of love. Since we cannot love someone we do not know and we cannot know someone we do not speak with, in Lent we commit to more intense prayer time with God in order to know Him and love Him more.

         

Fasting takes second place. The goal of fasting is not to have a sleek body one can be proud of…although it will help with your PT score! Fasting teaches discipline, self control, and fulfills the command to take up our cross and follow Jesus. So in a spiritual way, by fasting, we unite our suffering to Christ's and become more aware of those less fortunate than us.

         

This brings us to the last practice, alms giving. In giving to the poor, we care for Christ who said “Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me” (Matt 25:40). Giving away what we ourselves do not need, severs our attachment from material things and turns our desire for eternal things.

         

Intense prayer, fasting, and almsgiving during Lent, makes us think less about ourselves and more about our need for God’s loving presence in our lives. To help with that, I would like to suggest you attend one of our Strong Bonds retreats in the near future! We will make you aware of the dates and locations here in our Chaplains Reflections as soon as they are finalized for 2017.

 

2017 STRONG BONDS EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

 

April - Singles Event, Date/Location TBD

April - Family Event, Date/Location TBD

May 19-21 - Married Couples Event, Lake Murray

September - Married Couples Event, Hilton Head, Date TBD

 

To take advantage of attending one of the STRONG BONDS Relationship Skills Training Events, please call Terry DeLille at 803-647-8089 or Chaplain Pittman at 803-647-8265 for more information and how to register. May this Lent be a time of great spiritual growth for us all as we strive to know and love God.