LPI, Inc. kindly offers the following reflections and Lectio Divina:
LENTEN DAILY REFLECTIONS
A series of reflections for Lent, courtesy of LPI, Inc.
- Lent Reflections - Week 1 - 2/14-2/17 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 2 - 2/18-2/24 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 3 - 2/25-3/3 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 4 - 3/4-3/10 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 5 - 3/11-3/17 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 5 - 3/11-3/17 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 6 - 3/12-3/24 (PDF)
- Lent Reflections - Week 7 - 3/25 (Passion Sunday) - 4/1 (Easter Sunday) (PDF)
LECTIO DIVINA FOR LENT
Our friends at LPI offer reflections for significant times of the liturgical year. Check back each week of Lent for a new reflection.
- Lectio Divina for the Ash Wednesday (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for the First Week of Lent (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for the Second Week of Lent (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for the Third Week of Lent (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for the Fourth Week of Lent (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for the Fifth Week of Lent (PDF)
- Lectio Divina for Palm Sunday (PDF)
February 25, 2018 ~ 2nd Sunday of Lent
How are your Lenten resolutions? By the time week two rolls around, plenty of well-meaning people have skipped, neglected, or outright forgotten their Lenten resolutions at least once. It can be easy to start excusing our Lenten commitments altogether.
Last week we saw Jesus driven into the desert. This Sunday, we see Jesus leading his disciples to an equally barren place: he "led them up a high mountain apart by themselves." But what happens there? "And he was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzling white." Today's Gospel reminds us of the goal. We don't enter into the desert for the sake of suffering, but for the sake of transformation.
Mountain imagery is prevalent throughout Scripture. The sacrifice of Isaac, Moses receiving the 10 Commandments, Elijah's revelation of God as a tiny whispering sound: all these occur on the mountaintop. Mountains are strenuous to hike. To assist the traveler in the assent, trails often involve switchbacks. These lead the traveler back and forth across the mountainside, sometimes appearing as if hardly any ground is gained. Perhaps Peter, James, and John hiked a similar path as Jesus led them up the side of Mount Tabor.
A climb is difficult. A climb in a barren place leaves you thirsty, exhausted, and quite possibly frustrated or discouraged. Yet this is precisely how Jesus leads his closest disciples. Why? Because he has something to reveal to them. Practically speaking, Jesus needed to bring Peter, James and John away from the crowds for this revelation of glory to remain hidden. There are spiritual truths we will encounter only if we pass through difficulty. So let's persevere this Lent! Today's Gospel invites us to trust that, if we persevere in following Jesus, he'll lead us to something beautiful and glorious as well.
March 4, 2018 ~ 3rd Sunday of Lent
We all have things in our lives that don't belong there. Maybe it's the poor way we allow someone to treat us, maybe it's a habitual sin, maybe it's a pattern of thought or attitude that traps us in a cycle of regret, anger, or an inability to forgive. Jesus has bold words for us today: "Take these out of here."
When we hear the story of the Cleansing of the Temple, it can be easy to look down on the animal-sellers and money-changers. However, they set up shop in the Temple for a very practical purpose. People needed to buy animals to sacrifice, they were going to sacrifice them in the Temple: ergo, quite a convenient, successful marketplace! For many of us, the negative influences in our lives don't come out of nowhere. We might have considered them quite practical and reasonable initially.
We wanted to keep the peace, so we allowed someone to talk to us disrespectfully. A person hurt us deeply and we weren't prepared to let go of our resentment right away. Over time, these can fester and corrupt our inner life in a way we didn't expect.
The response of Jesus is a strong one. "He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area." God wants us to be whole, healthy human beings. He knows how destructive it is for our souls to be caught up sin -- our own sin and those of others. God's love for us is startlingly fierce. In a few short weeks we will celebrate the culmination of that courageous love as Jesus goes to his death on the cross.
In the meantime, Lent is an opportunity for cleansing and renewal. If we've allowed into our lives things that don't belong, let today be the day we ask Jesus to clear them out. It's not always easy or pretty, but it's necessary for our hearts to function the way they were made. God will turn our tables over if we ask Him to.
March 11, 2018 ~ Fourth Sunday of Lent
We might think of candles and light more during the Advent season than during Lent, due to Advent wreaths, candles in windows, and the light of a star. But the real focus on light, as seen in this week's Gospel, is during Lent, when we prepare for Easter and Jesus' triumphant rising from the dead. It is in this game-changing event that the light of Christ destroys the power of darkness.
If you have never been to an Easter Vigil, why not plan on attending this year? The theme of light is so prevalent, with processional candles everywhere and the new Paschal candle being lit for the first time. The candle is then plunged into the baptismal font before it is used for sacraments, breaking into the darkness of our sin. Through these waters, men and women will be washed clean and the darkness they were born into will exist no more. Their blindness of original sin will be healed and they will not only be able to see, they will be new creations in Christ.
This Lent, before it is all over, spend time in prayer and use a candle to focus. Reflect on your life and determine what areas you need the light of Christ to shine. Then when Easter comes, know that the One who is the light is shining brighter than ever so that that you may be in darkness no more.
Catholics over 14 years of age are bound to the obligation of abstinence. Abstinence is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent. On days of abstinence, meat may not be used at all.
Catholics over 18 and up to age 60 are bound to the obligation of fasting. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are the days of fasting. On these days, only one full meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids, including milk and fruit juices are allowed.
Regarding other weekdays of Lent, participation in daily Mass and the voluntary observance of fasting is recommended.
Commendable, particularly during Lent, is generosity to local, national and world programs of sharing our abundance, the traditional Lenten Devotions and all the self-denial summed up in the Christian concept of “mortification.”
BOOK OF LENTEN PRAYER INTENTIONS
Throughout the Season of Lent, a book will be available next to the ambo, to the left of the altar, in the Upper Church for you to inscribe special prayer intentions you would like to lift up to God during this season of grace and renewal. We will include these intentions in the Prayers of the Faithful each week during Lent, and the book will be presented before the altar and prayed over during the Easter Vigil.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Stations of the Cross