Praying Through Lent
Praying Through Lent
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17, Christians around the world enter the season of Lent. A season of repentance, reflection, and renewal, Lent offers each one of us an opportunity to engage in spiritual practices that prepare us for the joy of new life and resurrection at Easter.
The three traditional pillars of Lenten practice are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The call to pray reminds us to reconnect with the sacred in our daily lives as well as with our deepest, most authentic desires and values. Fasting might involve "giving up" a food or habit for Lent or examining more closely the places in our lives that need greater simplicity or letting go of unhealthy attachments. When we give alms -- when we give to those in need and contribute to the well-being of our neighbors and communities -- we respond to the Gospel call to love of neighbor and solidarity with all persons.
How will you pray, fast, and give alms this Lent? The resources below offer a rich diversity of ideas, inspiration, and encouragement. May these forty days of Lent bring you peace and renewal.
A Lenten/Spring Break Message from the Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Spring break will be welcome, but why wait until then, when we can begin now a spiritual experience with moments of mini-breaks that will enable us to rejoice in the new life of spring?
The word Lenten derives from an Old English word for spring season. For many, the Lenten experience is a preparation for the religious celebration of Easter. Yet for all of us, our Lenten experience can be consciously focusing attention on some present aspect of our lives that needs healing. We can then celebrate the renewed life exemplified in the visible manifestations of a true spring season.
Taking daily mini breaks provide more immediate beneficial effects rather than scheduled times when we will be able to rest and restore our depleted energies. We are often tired and frayed in ways that we don’t always perceive or understand. This could be a spiritual weariness, having given all that we could to our work and other activities. We need more than a spring break to replenish our powers of caring for what we do and for whom we do it.
Let us take momentary pauses between classes, meetings, tasks, or any other event, so that we can acknowledge and be grateful for the good intentions with which we finish whatever we were doing. Recognizing the care we have put into our recent efforts will support us to continue in the same manner. This also will allow for honest evaluation that may lead us to make wise decisions in the pace or intensity of our endeavors and enable us to put aside negative thoughts that may intrude on our good intentions.
Let us now begin the healing spiritual practice of mini breaks to lead us to rejoice in the new life of the spring season.
More ways to pray this Lent
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