Third Week of Easter

Take Heart!

It seems that peace of heart is hard to find these days. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are on the rise, as is generalized despair and despondency. The state of the world—from politics and economics to medical problems and relational woes—is getting us down.

Yet, our present age is not unique. Christ's first disciples also lived in an era of fear and uncertainty. When Jesus addressed them at the Last Supper, he concluded with this statement:

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
— John 16:33

This doesn't mean there are quick and easy answers for any particular hardship you might be going through. But it does mean that our Crucified Lord is with you in your suffering, and that our Risen Lord wants to share with you his victory over the world's chaos. Here are some resources to help you take heart:
The best places to find peace for your heart are in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.

This collect prayer begins the Mass for Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Jesus is calling us to "take up battle against spiritual evils." We'll explore fasting itself in a few weeks; during the week of Ash Wednesday, we're going to dig into an important set of weapons the Lord gives us to fight evil: sacramentals.

What's a sacramental? Well, if you attend Mass on Ash Wednesday, you're probably going to receive one on your forehead.