Dear Editor,Many times, people ask me as to what I have given up for this Lent? Many Christians decide to forgo something for the season of Lent; be it meat, alcohol, chocolate, biscuits, smoking and so on. Apart from material forgoing, some make decision to forgo the things that help them to rediscover God in their lives. Why do we do that in the Lent alone? Why can’t we do it other times of the year? What makes Lent so significant for the people of God?Lent is one of the important seasons in the Christian Liturgical Calendar. It is a season of Grace; a grace poured into our hearts ever since we were born. We grow into an awareness of this grace and renew our relationship with God. In this season we are invited to reflect on our lives and realign our lives towards God. Lent offers us an opportunity to retrospect our commitment to God through prayer, fasting, almsgiving and penance. We acknowledge that we are weak and fragile before God despite our technological advancements. We turn towards God so that he can work in us through his mercy and compassion. We also recognise our love for God and love for our neighbour. Hence, it is a time for fixing our relationship with God. It is the time to make God relevant in our modern times where God has become irrelevant.Lent means ‘spring’; it is a springtime where we are renewed and refreshed through the Lenten observances. We are washed clean so that we enter into paschal mysteries of Christ death and resurrection. The Latin-based language uses the word “Quaresma” for Lent, which simply means 40 days. After the baptism, Jesus was tempted and tried in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights while he was in prayer and fasting. Thus, the Church invites the faithful to reflect on one’s own life to be aware that we are also tempted in our everyday lives. Temptation is part of human life, but how do we deal with it, is more important than dwelling on the issue of temptation.The four pillars of Lent – prayer, penance, almsgiving and fasting – help not only the people in need but makes us empathise with the poor, in other words it makes us feel the pain of the needy; for instance, when we fast, we feel the hunger that a poor person goes through. These pillars help us to mend and to deepen our relationship with God.Sincerely,Fr Jerri Dias SJ
Ameriquest, whose signs have become familiar at ballparks across the nation, is venturing into NASCAR for the first time. Its previous involvement with motor sports was as an associate sponsor for drag racing entries owned by Don “The Snake” Prudhomme. In addition to Busch regulars – the 150-lap race starts at 5 p.m. – the race will include Nextel Cup drivers Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth. Adrian Fernandez, a two-time open-wheel winner at the track, will make his stock car oval racing debut. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 It is big for both sides. For the Orange-based mortgage lender, it’s an opportunity to tap into the most loyal fan base in the country. For the racing industry, and the Fontana track specifically, it’s another new major sponsor. “NASCAR racing is a national phenomenon appealing to a broad range of fans across America,” said Brian Woods, Ameriquest chief marketing officer. “The Ameriquest 300 offers us a great platform to strategically communicate our brand, our services and our positioning to NASCAR fans.” For the track, it means all three races will have new sponsors this year. The Sunday evening Nextel Cup race will carry the Sony HD 500 tag, and the Grand National West race on Friday night will be called – deep breath – the Relocate Here 200 presented by San Bernardino County. … Dale Earnhardt might be more popular now than ever. Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager Chris Powell helped unveil a $200,000 wax likeness of the late seven-time NASCAR champion at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas. Earnhardt is depicted standing in victory lane, complete with sunglasses. Visitors to the venue will be able to stand next to the figure and be photographed. Either before or after the glamour shot with Elvis. … You have to give the front office at Perris Auto Speedway high marks for creativity, but maybe not political correctness, in its effort to attract Saturday night fans. This week, any adult customer wearing a skirt will be admitted for $5 and be able to buy $1 hot dogs and $2 beer. Not just women, but any man who wants to participate in “Hot August Skirt Night.” … Jeremy Mayfield is fifth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup point standings, but seemingly off everyone’s radar screen. His victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway helped elevate his profile. A former winner at Fontana, Mayfield might be the most underestimated driver in NASCAR. “I feel that way, but the good thing about it is that it’s something that doesn’t bother me,” Mayfield said this week. “I can go with the flow with a lot of things. As far as on the race track, car for car, driver for driver, I feel like I’m as good as any driver out there driving a race car, and that’s the way I should feel. “The problem I’ve got with it is people want to throw off on just me or say I’m not focused or I don’t drive like I used to drive. That’s not right. That’s what irritates me more than anything. We’re gaining respect. “I’m as much focused now as I’ve ever been, and I feel like I’m a better driver than I’ve ever been. Yet, nobody seems to realize that.” Louis Brewster covers motor racing. His notebook appears on Thursday. He can be reached at (909) 386-3935 or [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Clearing out a very crowded notebook for the return of NASCAR to Southern California in a week. Just how important is the Southern California market for Corporate America? Enough for one of the country’s largest mortgage lenders to sponsor a NASCAR Busch Series race Sept. 3 at California Speedway.