By Tim Von Dohlen

Lent, Easter and Changing Hearts

April 4, 2019

Going through Lent, we have been reading 40 Days, 40 Ways A New Look at Lent by Marcellino D’Ambrosio (Dr. Italy). A paragraph in Day 20 particularly caught my attention:

“Modern media invades every nook and cranny of our lives. In various schools and seminars around the world, future advertising execs, graphic artists, and filmmakers are taught how to get our attention, keep our attention, and put tunes and images in our minds that just won’t go away. They get to us through radio in the car, TV at home, even wireless Internet access all hours of the day and night wherever we are. We can shop either in stores or online 24/7 – no break for Sundays or holidays”.

Just Do It!

It is hard to find time or a place just to be silent. Each of us needs some quiet time to clear our minds and be able to spend time praying. I find if I can start my day with a few minutes of reflection and then do the daily readings. Pat and I try to do the readings together as this gets our day started right and it ends up being a much better day than if I just jump into the myriad of things that are there to be done. I do agree with those who suggest rather than giving up sweets or wine that going to daily Mass or reading the Bible more and other spiritual exercises is the best way to prepare for Easter – the most important time for our Catholic faith when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ who gave his life for us. I have to add, listening to Matthew Kelly’s daily Lenten reflection is wonderful. Just find what works for you and take some time to be with Jesus.

I hope you have been seeing the stories about the new movie “Unplanned” which opened at the end of March. Over $6,000,000 in gross box office revenue the first weekend and spreading to over 700 more theaters across the U.S. It is the true story about Abby Johnson and how after being the Planned parenthood employee of the year left that job and became a warrior to save babies lives and encourage other Planned Parenthood employees to join her in leaving its employ. It is a well-made film with excellent performances, and it shows what really takes place during an abortion.

If you haven’t yet seen Unplanned, please go and take your family with you and encourage your friends to go as well. This film is truly changing people’s hearts for the better. The film should stir a feeling inside each of us to get actively involved to save babies lives and help women who think they have no alternative but abortion that there are places and people who will accept them where they are and treat them with love and dignity. Go to St. John Paul II Life Center, www.jpiilifecenter.org.

Be strong in the Lord

This is the time of the year to especially realize there is evil in the world and the evil one (the devil) is at work every day doing his deadly work.

Jesus said that Satan comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10). That’s why the Bible says, “Be strong in the Lord against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual forces of evil” (Eph 10-12).

There is still hope that good will prevail over evil in the United States. We each need to do our part to bring that about.
Ephesians 5:8-14 makes our challenge clear:

“Live as children of light for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret but everything exposed by the light becomes visible for everything that becomes visible is light.”

Happy Easter!

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Timothy Von Dohlen is the founder and president of the John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas. (www.jpiilifecenter.org). He may be reached at [email protected]

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