At Lent we understand what prayer is. There are many ways to pray and no one ways fits everyone. The only prayer I can think of is the Our Father that most people know. I think most people know something about fasting that is giving something up for Lent. Some people do the same thing every year. I like to experiment and learn to fast from different things. I try to pick out something I really like and enjoy every day and offer that up to God.
Almsgiving is something most people think they know but do not. Almsgiving is something more than just donating money. It is a form of charity. Doing something for someone else who does not know you did it or you did it for them. Here is an example.
I was on a retreat. As I get up early, I walked down to the gas station to get a cup of coffee. A friend of went with me. There was a young lady at the counter. She looked like she was ready to cry. She looked so sad. My friend and I walked to the back of store where the coffee was. We knew why she was sad. Whoever had been there ahead of us had made a total disaster of the area. Coffee was spilled everywhere. They had torn open hundreds of the little sugar packets and sprayed sugar everywhere. Coffee cups were on the floor and on the counter. It was a total mess, a real disaster. I tiptoed around everything to get a couple of coffee. When I turned around here was my friend on his hands and knees trying to wipe things up with a few napkins. At first, I was surprised – what are you doing. Then I understood. He was showing charity. He was trying to help the young lady who was now sitting on a chair crying. I thought ‘how come I am not like my friend’. Ready to help.
Having worked in a gas station before I knew there would be a mop bucket someplace. I found it and we cleaned everything and even put in new sugar packets and coffee cups and made fresh coffee. It only took about 15 minutes.
When we left, we did not tell the lady what we did. She could not see what we were doing. We encouraged her that God will provide, to ask God for help. We paid for our coffee and left her a tip.
The best charity is when you do something for someone else and they do not know it. But God knows it and God will reward you for that.
Here is a charity that you can do today. When your parents get home tonight tell them how great they are. You can say something like this:
Mom you are the greatest. You make the best food. You are always there to help. I am thankful for all you do for me.
Dad you are so awesome. I know you work hard to buy the things we need. Thank you for all you do.
What do you think? Should not we do this every day? And by the way, thank God he gave you the parents you have.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen