LENT STARTS FEBRUARY 14.
Here are a few resources for prayer, reading, reflection.
Daily Lent by Email or Text:
Many groups will have Lenten emails where you can subscribe to get a daily email or text for prayer and reflection. Here are a few to consider:
Living Lent Daily by Loyola Press based on the book A Friendship Life No Other by William A. Barry, SJ
Best Lent Ever is a daily email with a video by Matthew Kelly and Dynamic Catholic with practical tips to incorporate into your daily life
Carpe Verbum: Sign up to get a text of email every day to a step-by-step prayer guide. It is designed for teens, but adult can use it too!
An Ignatian Prayer Adventure is an online 8-week retreat, so perfect for Lent and Easter adapted from the Spiritual Exercises. It is based on the longer book format by Kevin O’Brien, SJ called the Ignatian Adventure
The Ignatian Workout for Lent Retreat: is based on the book by Tim Muldoon by the same title.
Creighton Ministries Lenten Online Retreat: This is a retreat for busy people. It includes a guide, a photo and a variety of reflections to help you pray each week.
Books, Booklets and Pamphlets:
Of course every Catholic Publisher has a wide selection of books, booklets and pamphlets for Lent.
Here is a list of some publisher’s Lenten book catalogs:
Some of my favorites books tools and resources for Lent:
Just reading and reflecting on the Mass Readings of the Day: these can be found in a missal, WORD AMONG US, in a variety of free apps (for example IBreviary or Lectio Divina or online via the USCCB website )
By the way, the USCCB offers a wonderful online Lenten Calendar and other resources.
Of course, a wonderful way to pray, fast, learn and give is through the CRS Rice Bowl. It is more than just putting your spare change in a box: there are recipes, and activities and reflections. Start HERE .
Maryknoll has some wonderful resources for lent, including reflection guides for small group discussion HERE
More to come:
We will add future posts with book reviews and other ideas for Lent. Stay tuned.
Catholic Hipster Handbook: Rediscovering Cool Saints, Forgotten Prayers and Other Weird but Sacred Stuff
If you are looking for a fun read that still manages to remind you of what makes being Catholic cool yet countercultural, this is the book for you! And you do not need to be a hipster to enjoy it.
I found this gem of a book, co-written by about 15 bloggers and authors, to be a wonderful collection of Catholic devotions and practices, with each chapter liberally supported by a classic prayer, a short biography of a saint related to the topic at hand and an activity that will help you put your faith in action.
Each section starts with the word “rediscover” … Rediscover the Attitude, Rediscover the Stuff, Rediscover the Life, and Rediscover the Attraction. The book reminds us of the who we are in God’s eyes – that we are children of God and that we loved. It reminds us about the catholic practices that may have been left by the wayside but are being rediscovered by a new generation: from novenas, to chaplets to relics and brewing beer, growing beards and wearing sandals … all the while not being afraid of having a good sense of humor and a good dose of laughter with friends.
If you think our faith is boring, or irrelevant or just passé, check out this fun book, and rediscover (or discover for the first time) what continues to draw young people to this beautiful and ancient faith.
December 24: FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Mary said YES!. She didn't have to. She could have said 'thanks but no.' She could have said 'when it is more convenient.' We can learn a lot from Mary's yes. How do we respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Are we even open to listen? How often do we say things like: someone should do something about that? Maybe that someone is you! Or perhaps we have an inspired idea for something, but out of fear or false modesty, we keep it to ourselves. Mary's yes was courageous. She trusted God's will for her. Perhaps today we can find a quiet place, and ask Mary for help to know and say yes to God's will in our own lives. Have a joy-filled and blessed Christmas season!
December 17: THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Rejoice always, St. Paul exhorts us in today's second reading. This is not some artificial joy, a grin and bear it type of sentiment. Despite all the suffering and sorrow, the hardships and the struggles of life, we are called to be a joy-filled people. Our joy comes because we trust the word of the Lord. Like the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist, we trust that the Lord will come. We rejoice because we know that the Almighty has done great things for us. And while we wait for his return, we are encouraged by the Holy Spirit to share this joy and bring glad tidings to the poor. Let us be bearers of light by sharing our faith, by inviting others who may lack hope or who are lonely, and by reaching out.
December 10: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Our second reading from St. Peter today tells us to await new heavens and a new earth. Our prophets remind us that we are to prepare for this, but do we really believe it? Or have we become complacent like the community to whom Peter is writing in his day? As we go through the seasons year after year, we may still believe that Jesus will come again as we pray in the creed every Sunday, but do we think that he may come in our lifetime? Would you be ready for his return. This season of Advent, as we pray for the coming of the salvation of the world, let us prepare ourselves to receive our savior. By repentance of our sins and practicing the virtues, let us make straight a highway for our Lord that we may see his glory.
December 3: FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Happy new liturgical year. Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of waiting in the “in-between” times. Christ has won the victory, but his Kingdom is not yet fully realized. We wait for his return in glory. With Isaiah we call out to God asking him to return so we may not wander away from him. We need to stand firm with Paul and be watchful and alert as Mark tells us in the gospel. Advent is a time of waiting in active hope. It is a time for turning to the Lord that we may see his face as we call upon his name. Come Lord Jesus.
December 8, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the Patronal Feast Day of the United States and a Holy Day of Obligation.
For the earlier post on Advent click HERE
Fr. Rob Galea has a brief video about Advent:
23rd Publication has a free e-resource booket with daily prayers, activities and reflections available by clicking HERE
The NCEA website has its own collection of Advent Resources for Catholic educators to help celebrate the season of Advent with students
NOVEMBER 26: SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
Today we celebrate Christ the King, but he is unlike ordinary, earthly kings. He is a shepherd to his flock - the Good Shepherd, who carries the lost sheep home on his shoulders. This is the King we follow and as his disciples we are called do the same. The gospel asks us what we have done for the least among us in imitation of our Shepherd-King and in service to him. As he has loved us, so we are called to love those whom he loves, the least of our brothers and sisters. On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, and as we look forward to Thanksgiving Thursday, let us be grateful for the love of our King and Shepherd and share that love with all around us.
NOVEMBER 19: THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Are you prepared for the return of the Master? What talents have we been entrusted with? Have we used our gifts or have we buried them or stored them on the shelf unopened and unused? Have we worked to increase our talents by using and sharing them? Our gospel today indicates that there may be some risk involved trying to increase our talents. We may fail or be rejected, but our gifts are not given to be buried in the sand. Our first reading shows us how we increase our talents: having obtained the raw materials of wool and flax, the good wife works with them, spins them into cloth and shares her wares with the poor and needy. In the Church, we have been given the gift of faith, and through prayer and study and sharing we can increase our faith, so as to let our faith overflow to those we meet. Let us use our talents and stay alert that we may be ready for the Lord's return and will hear those words: "Well done my good and faithful servant... come share your Master’s joy."