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A Reflection on the Three Pillars of Lent

by Anonymous last modified Mar 13, 2020 07:16 AM

Praying, fasting and almsgiving: three words that gave me meaningful and substantial insights in my missionary journey here in Khipro, Pakistan. These have always been the three pillars of Lent.

A Reflection on the Three Pillars of Lent

by Elbert L. Balbastro, Columban student


Praying, fasting and alms giving: three words that gave me meaningful and substantial insights in my missionary journey  here in Khipro, Pakistan. These have always been the three pillars of Lent. But I still wondered, why exactly do we do these things? Upon further reflection, I came to the conclusion that these actions are a result of our love of God and our   neighbors.

My 4-day exposure in one of the villages opened my eyes to a renewed perception. In Mirhwa, the primary school caters to both Hindu and Christian students. In helping these children, I observed that most of the masters (teachers) do not just teach passionately but also express their love and support for the children well. In one of our conversations, they mentioned that most of the students enrolled are poor. Thus, it was left to them to  convince parents into sending their children to school. There are times when they would  even shoulder whatever fees necessary so that the families will not be discouraged, despite the masters’ own financial struggles. Year after year, this is what they do.

This is what fasting and alms giving are all about. These teachers do not have much and yet they sacrifice the little that they have out of love for the children whom they treat as their own.  I realized then that the power of love  conquers anything and goes all the way into the innermost goodness of a person.

The village has a tradition of praying from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Most of their prayers are for the well being of the students who are mostly Hindu. Regardless of our differences, we need to pray for everyone. Jesus commanded us to love one another, and that love should encompass religions, race, caste or nationality.

elbert

Elbert in Pakistan

 

mary of pakistan

 Blessed Virgin Mary (Pakistan)

The three pillars of Lent are a guide in following God. As we journey through this season, we are not only encouraged to pray, fast and give alms but we are also reminded that to act with love and inclusivity towards neighbors and enemies alike.

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