Mid-way moments for renewal on journey of Lent
As with any journey, there may come a time when resolve gives way to weariness. It can be that way with Lent, as well. Our enthusiasm for prayer, fasting and almsgiving – the three pillars of Lent – may begin to fade, and efforts to do Lent well become half-hearted.
Pope Francis understands the challenge, sharing, in his 2022 Lenten message, St. Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity (kairós), let us do good to all” (Gal 6:9-10).
For those who feel a need to recharge their Lenten practices or simply get back on track, there is still time.
MAKE FRIDAY NIGHTS SPECIAL
In the March installment of Faith at Home, the Diocese’s family-focused spiritual column and podcast, special contributor Lisa Limongello suggests the idea of sharing a Lenten meal as a family.
The Lenten Season is an invitation to take a step back and focus on ways to spend time intentionally. During the Last Supper, Jesus intentionally took the time to sit down with his disciples, the people whom he loved, and break bread with them. He spent his final night alive on earth around the dining room table and shared a meal with his family – a meal which was the most important gift we have ever received as human beings.
We are called to eat a simple meal on Fridays. Over the next few weeks, make family dinner a priority. You can use this time to model for your family that it’s okay to slow down and spend intentional time with the people you love the most.
There is also the opportunity to share that simple meal with family members, friends or neighbors who live alone. The gift of personal presence and conversation is part of the call to give to others during Lent.
To read the full Faith at Home column or listen to the podcast, go to dioceseoftrenton.org/faith-at-home
PRAY THE ROSARY
There is still time to commit more time in prayer by praying the Rosary together and taking part in Family Rosary’s “At the Foot of the Cross” Lenten campaign.
Family Rosary (www.familyrosary.org) is part of the Holy Cross Family Ministries, which continues the mission of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, known for the adage, “The family that prays together stays together.” He urged families to pray the Rosary together, so he was aptly dubbed “The Rosary Priest.”
The Holy Cross organization also includes Family Theater Productions, Catholic Mom, the Museum of Family Prayer, Father Peyton Family Institutes and the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life.
Other resources and guidance on Lenten prayer include a blog on the website of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington that posts a daily prayer for each day of Lent (https://www.nationalshrine.org/blog/prayers-for-lent) and the Center for Mission and Identity at Xavier University in Cincinnati offers suggestions for Lenten prayers via JesuitResource.org.
Information for this article was first reported by OSV News.
SPEND TIME IN REFLECTION
As Lent is a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter, there is still time to include an important practice necessary to achieve a true inner conversion of heart on our journey to follow Christ’s will more faithfully – reflection.
Pope Francis has reminded us that during the Season of Lent, “the Holy Spirit drives us too, like Jesus, into the desert. It is not … a physical place, but rather an existential dimension in which we can be silent and listen to the world of God.”
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed a daily Lenten calendar of reflections, “Reflect. Repent. Restore.” which includes Scripture quotations, papal insights, and penitential practices meant to spur interior reflection.
To view or print the calendar go to www.usccb.org. Look for What is Lent? link on the homepage.
For ideas to make the most of Lent, visit TrentonMonitor.com/lent-holy-week-easter.