Category Archives: Lent

Cry out, full-throated by Margaret Felice

(What a privilege it is to welcome today’s guest blogger Margaret Felice,
with a reflection on today’s readings
.)

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Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yikes. Do you ever hear a reading that shakes you up, that has you hesitant when it is time to respond “Thanks be to God”? That’s how I often feel when I hear readings that dwell on the wickedness of humanity.

That’s not to say that I don’t think such wickedness exists. I see it ever day, in large and small ways. I recognize it in my own heart, and try to respond with charity when I recognize it in the hearts of others. I just feel more comfortable attempting to draw out the positive rather than squashing the negative.

But this is our scripture. As with all the correction that comes to us from God, it’s not Continue reading

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St. Josephine Bakhita by Bill Thornton

Saint+Josephine+Bakhita

ST. JOSEPHINE BAHKITA
Died February 8, 1947
Canonized October 1, 2000

Today is not the feast of St. Josephine Bahkita, that was Monday, February 8. Still, for a number of reasons, I wanted to write about her. First of all, the readings for today, the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, are BIG SCRIPTURES. First, in Dt. 30:15-20, Moses gives us a choice between “life and death, the blessing and the curse.” And he encourages us to “Choose life.” Then, in Lk. 9:22-25, Jesus tells us “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” I have heard preaching on these passages many times, and I have meditated on them many more times. Try as I might, I don’t think that I can come up with any fresh insights to give you on these readings. But you should read them, and meditate on them and follow them yourselves.

Second, I had never heard about St. Josephine until this week. Maybe you have. Maybe you have read about her Continue reading

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Ash Wednesday by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

Ash_WednesdayToday is Ash Wednesday, Lent begins. Our readings are once again, very clear; this is not the first or the last time we will hear these words in our lives.

Maybe we can walk together this Lent, and help each other to stay on the path? Let’s explore that through one point from each element of today’s Scriptures.

From the Book of Joel:

“Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.”

Return. Whole heart. Heart, not garments. Can we, a people who live in a culture focused so intensely on the exterior, truly do the interior work of God? We are faced with a challenge because we receive many mixed messages, influencing the kind of lives we choose to live. Even if we are focused on God, many Continue reading

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Lenten Prayer Resources

7056_ImportantUpdateIMPORTANT UPDATE… please take note!
It has come to my attention that even though Amazon is offering Not By Bread Alone. The page for the book says that it is out of stock, will ship later – but they are NOT selling the book. Please go to the Liturgical Press website to order!

That got me thinking, what if that is also the case for Sacred Space for Lent? It also shows as out of stock. Anyway, that can be ordered via the Loyola Press website.

If you visit the Ave Maria Press website you will find Sacred Reading for Lent and the Living Gospel.

And how could I have forgotten two important resources? I did! One is absolutely free – go to the USCCB Daily Readings page to sign up for an email of each day’s Scriptures. Video reflections are also offered and can be found here.

Last but not least, I highly recommend a subscription to Give Us This Day. Yes I have a bias, I do write for them, but before that day ever dawned, I was a charter subscriber. Go have a look at their subscription page, you can even request a free sample.

 

Lent-631x295While it was my hope to have had this post out earlier, here it is at last! Lent begins on February 10, a little more than two weeks away. As has been my custom, I would like to offer up some ideas for your Lenten prayers and reflection.

Sometimes we feel too busy for Lent, but most of these resources are small enough to put in a pocket or purse, and are short enough for brief periods of prayer. The idea is not to add stress, but to create spaces, however “small” they may seem, to invite the peace of God into our lives. At Lent we truly are on a “journey” through the desert, as we make our way towards Easter. It is good to have one or more resources to accompany us – maybe think of these books as road maps pointing us toward the Triduum.

In no particular order, I present to you:: Continue reading

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Last gasps of Lent

-1Here we are, another Lent come and nearly gone. How do we feel? Any different from how we felt on Ash Wednesday? Or how we felt last year? Or the year before?

If you look at the selected Evening Prayer in the daily devotional Give Us This Day, you will find a reading from the Book of Acts (Acts 17:27b-31). It is not the standard evening prayer for today, as found in the Liturgy of the Hours, but I read it (yes – early, because I thought I was giving a reflection on it tonight) and I thought it really delivered the message of what these last gasps of Lent might offer us.

imagesHere we are at the end of our 40 day trek through the desert. We are likely weary, hot, tired, thirsty, exhausted. Or maybe we are not, because we saw the “last oasis before Easter” exit earlier in our Lenten journey, so we did the sensible thing – we bailed. Some of us may be somewhere in between, straddling a well-practiced Lent and a lazy one. That last one covers me, as I careened from one extreme to the other, a sacrificial Lent and a somewhat less disciplined one. God, I’m sorry about eating so much of that cake that Erica baked; I did not mean to, it just happened.

It may seem Continue reading

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Filed under Lent, Lent 2015

How will you enter? A Palm Sunday reflection

christs_entry_into_jerusalem_hippolyte_flandrin_1842Today we remember that Jesus’ entered Jerusalem to cries of Hosanna, meaning “save, we pray!” Hosanna is also interpreted to mean blessed as well. The messiah enters the holy city at the start of the festival of Passover to save and to bless – but not in any way that people might have imagined. We are also called to consider how we will enter into Jerusalem ourselves.

What are our hopes, dreams, beliefs, and prayers today? Do we cry out for Jesus to “save, we pray?” Do we cry out to be bless or be blessed? Do we believe that Jesus will , or in fact, has already, saved us? Or are we just showing up because they are giving out free palms? How will we enter Jerusalem?

628x471If you went to or will go to mass on Palm Sunday you will be blessed by the Sprinkling Rite at the beginning of the liturgy, as the priest, deacons, or others go around the church with Holy Water. Will you Continue reading

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Filed under Holy Week 2015, Lent, Lent 2015, Palm Sunday

The Annunciation – Say Yes

Silence. Listening. Emptying. Filling. Receiving. Giving.

Today I offer you something that I put on my personal blog, There Will Be Bread, a few years ago, with some new questions about what this day might mean to us as God’s people.  What seemingly impossible things are we called to say yes to today? What is in the space between God and our yes that makes for miracles? How will we each bring Christ into the world without reservation?

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Filed under Annunciation, Lent, Lent 2015, Mary Mother of God