Today is the first Friday of Lent. I find that the beginning of Lent is often hard until I get into the groove of whatever I have given up or taken on. It takes a while to break habits, like not checking social media on the phone.
SOME ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
First of all, check your parish bulletin or website: Most parishes offer Lenten opportunities for prayer such as the Stations of the Cross. Many will offer Lenten Parish Missions or opportunities for adult faith formation. There will be fish fries and soup suppers to help build community and fundraise for those less fortunate. If you are not sure if your parish has a website, check Parish Directory on the Diocesan Website.
FROM THE PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE: a resource for Lent
The diocesan Public Policy Committee has created a resource in conjunction with the season of Lent based on the 7 themes of Catholic social teaching. The committee has created a downloadable prayer card as well as a webpage which will include a series of articles in the weeks to come on each of the 7 themes. The articles will also appear in the North Country Catholic. The first article, summarizing the themes is currently available. For more information please see the public policy webpage under the "About the Diocese" section on the Diocesan website or click HERE.
FROM THE OGDENSBURG CURSILLO MOVEMENT: Lenten Day of Reflection
The Cursillo movening is offering a Lenten Day of Reflection at St. Augustine Church, Peru, NY, on Saturday, March 03, 2018 from 10:00AM to 5:30PM
Join Bishop Terry LaValley, Fr. Alan Shnob, Fr. Timothy Canaan, Fr. Albert Hauser,Fr. Jack Downs and Deacon David Clark for a day of talks, prayer, personal witness, recollection and opportunity for Sacrament of Reconciliation. Lunch will be provided. Anticipated Sunday Mass will be celebrated by Bishop LaValley at 4:30PM at St. Augustine Church in Peru, NY. Pre-registration is requested to assure seating and food. A donation of $10/adult is suggested upon arrival to help defray expenses. Please pre-register by email or phone no later than Monday Feb. 26, 2018: Kathy Racette, firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-314-1505 or Ken Racette, email@example.com, 518-578-3056
BOOKS AND OTHER RESOURCES:
Our Sunday Visitor is offering a FREE little 9-page e-book guide to LENT http://response.osv.com/the-catholic-guide-to-making-lent-matter/ which covers some of the reasons behind our Lenten practices as well as offer some ideas to try .
Ascension Press has a wonderful program on LECTIO DIVINA called OREMUS which comes with a DVD set of 8 30-minute DVDs, workbooks and leader guides. For free, you can watch the introduction to how to pray Lectio Divina on YouTube: You can watch these below:
For previous lenten resources see:
Book Review: Tied in Knots: Finding Peace in Today's World. By Greg Willits. (Our Sunday Visitor)
Are you anxious? Can’t find the joy in life? Are you stressed out? Are you stuck in a rut and just going through the motions, whether at work, at home or in your faith life? Then this book may be for you.
Tied in Knots by Greg Willits has written a wonderful little book based on his own experience to help us look at the knots in our lives that may be the cause of anxiety, stress or malaise in our lives. Greg Willits shows us how he was able to untangle those things that were binding him down and through his expert story-telling, we too can discover and untangle the knots in our life and rediscover the joy we lost.
For those of you who have listened to Greg (and his lovely wife Jennifer) over the years through podcasts or Sirius Radio (Rosary Army, The Catholics Next Door, Adventures in Imperfect Living), will recognize the style and humor as well as his struggles with obstacles to channel his gifts and creativity while providing for his family. Besides engaging stories that anyone will be able to relate to, the book offers practical tools and prayers to break through those knots that keep you from finding the joy and passion in life again leading to lasting peace.
Book Review: Lenten Healing: 40 Days to Set You Free from Sin. By Ken Kniepmann (Ave Maria Press)
I received a lovely little book to review from Ave Maria Press called Lenten Healing: 40 Days to Set You Free from Sin by Ken Kniepmann. The format at first seemed familiar. It is a daily reflection book for Lent, but it comes with a twist. Rather than reflecting on the readings for the day, Ken Kniepman covers each of the seven deadly sins and connects them to their corresponding virtues. Each week of Lent covers on of the deadly sins, the corresponding virtue, connects them to wounds in our lives and how we can heal those wounds.
I did a quick read of the book in order to review it in time for Lent, but of course, the purpose of this book is not that you sit and read it cover to cover in one sitting. Rather, we are invited to read the daily portion of the book, usually about 2 pages, and use it as a springboard for prayer and reflection. Each day has a short reading to introduce the topic, whether it be a sin or a wound or virtue to counter the sin. Then two short related verses from scripture to deepen our reflection by listening to God speak to us. These are followed by one or two reflection questions and a short meditative prayer.
I plan on using this book as part of my own Lenten journey this year. I like to journal each morning, and for me, the value is in the reflection questions which will prompt my daily journaling. I can also see it as a gentle way to uncover hidden wounds that cause me to struggle with the same sins over and over again. This book aims to help us see the connections between our sins and the deeper, often hidden wounds and reasons we are drawn to those sins, allowing God’s grace to heal so that we may live out the corresponding virtues.
If you struggle with the deadly sins, whether, sloth, pride, envy, greed, gluttony, anger or lust, this may be the book for your Lenten reading this year. The Lord wants to set us free to live a virtuous life that we may encounter love and happiness. May this Lent be a season of healing and mercy.
For more Lenten Resources see: https://www.rcdony.org/evangelization/blog/1535-lenten-resources-2018.html
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. New posts and resources will be listed below as we review them:
UPDATE 2/16/2018: More Lenten Resources 2018
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.