St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

Carol told Doug. Doug called Frano. Frano passed the word to Pete and Joleen. They told Alicia. And so it went. No, they weren't sharing the latest gossip. They were members of our parish prayer chain, passing along information of the latest request for prayer.
They are successors of a long line of links in the prayer chain. It started with Jesus, praying for the ones the Father had given him. And, after the Lord's ascension, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James , son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James, and some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.devoted themselves with one accord to prayer.

Before they could go forth in mission, they knew they needed wisdom, fortitude, knowledge, courage, and the other gifts and fruits of the Spirit if they were going to be successful.
For how long did they pray? For nine whole days...a novena.
That's so unlike us in our culture today. We think if we wait any length of time, our efforts are wasted. "Strike while the iron is hot" is our mantra. "He who hesitates is lost," we say. And often we go off half-cocked and shoot ourselves in the foot, and we have to start all over if we can salvage anything.
Prayer is NOT wasting time. It is not turning in on ourselves or withdrawing from the ups and downs of life. By praying we turn towards God and through him to each other. Prayer becomes hope in action, as Pope Benedict XVI once said.
Prayer is more than mouthing words. It also involves silent listening to God's stirring in our souls. Do you leave space to hear God's whisper? Or is your life filled with constant noise from the moment you wake up to going to sleep listening to the radio? Can you go anywhere without an iPod or a cell phone? Are you afraid of silence, to be alone with just your thoughts and feelings?
Prayer is necessary to be a follower of God, to persevere in the mission to be a life-giving spirit to the world.
Are you a strong or weak link in the chain of prayer?

LENT: Fasting and Abstinence

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting and abstinence. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.
FASTING means to refrain from eating food between meals and to eat only one full meal with the other two being lighter meals. It is required of those who are age 18 to 59. Liquids are permitted between meals.
ABSTINENCE means to refrain from eating meat. It is required of those 14 years of age and older.


When pondering what to give up this year, consider Pope Francis’ suggestions to observe this Lent:

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God.
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

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