My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We have entered the Season of Lent and I want you to know that I will be praying for each and every one of you as you take this journey of reflection and preparation for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus at Easter.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday and culminating with Holy Week, this is a time of many rich traditions in our Catholic faith. I encourage you to take part in them, and also to be enriched in your prayer life. Open yourself to the great love that God has for you. Listen for His voice and where it calls you.
While Lent is a time when we look at our sinfulness and we acknowledge our mortality, its aim is not for us to feel diminished. It is to help us grow in our spirituality and in our closeness with God. When we do that we can more fully experience the new life that Jesus gives us in His Resurrection. So don’t be afraid to look inside yourself. God loves you no matter what.
Again, my prayers and blessing are with you in this sacred Lenten season.
Gerald R. Barnes, Bishop of San Bernardino