Lent is here. It is among us.
For me, I have noticed myself in such a rut. This place of confusion and being overwhelmed by the wave of tasks and duties. Responsibilities to my family, my community, and in my relationship with Christ. In the many moments of loneliness and frustration, I feel so tied down by this anxiety… this restlessness. Personally, I resort to comfort and/selfishness. This comfort, my gluttony of heart, is something I am not willing to justify anymore. I’m not willing to avoid the dry sand of the desert that Jesus retreated in before His passion, death, and resurrection. I don’t want to just stop eating chocolate or take on new habits I should alreadybe doing. It’s time to be honest and to be boldly creative! Lent is not a season to add to the list of tasks, keeping us comfortably busy and distracted. Rather, this opportunity is one that elevates us into the place of Christ. I want to accompany Him, the one who brings peace to the storm. He resides in His desert for these 40 days, will you be there as well?
I am ready for Lent. I am ready to receive mercy, to make a sacrifice, to be pruned of the things that take away zeal. Ah, yes this is so good. But it is also a challenge, Lent is a challenge. But thankfully we don’t have to go at it alone, we are all entering into the desert together.
I have taken the liberty to compile a few link-able resources and helpful guides for you to have an abundantly beautiful Lent through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Glorious Wounds Lenten Companion (via goBooks), Life Teen International
Every year Life Teen accompanies thousands of people to prayerfully enter into Lent. This companion is what I will be using every day to reflect in my morning prayer, which is part of my Lenten promises. How beautiful is it to reflect on how Lent is almost like a liturgical retreat. It’s really important to me in my own walk of faith that I am not just a person of action, but am primarily a person of discernment.. making time for solitude and depth of prayer. Now is too late for you to order the Glorious Wounds booklet. But what you CAN do right now is download the goBooks app and download the Glorious Wounds Life Teen Digital Companion for FREE
CRS Rice Bowl, Catholic Relief Services
Everyone in our youth ministry is doing CRS Rice Bowl, including me! What I absolutely love is how much using the rice bowl helps me live out the fact that we ARE the body of Christ. By giving alms in your CRS Rice Bowl throughout Lent you are not only praying and focusing on your own relationship with God but get to take the opportunity to really step outside of yourself for the sake of others. CRS helps you and I be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Iraq, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, and Malawi. Included in your bowl is a guide, spotlight & bios on specific people in these countries, Lent-approved simple recipes native to their homes, a Lenten calendar, and prayer petitions. It is an all-in-one guide to your Lent, to be on mission with CRS as we all enter into Christ’s sacrifice of His body.
Plus, you can even have the CRS Rice Bowl App accompany you on-the-go!
Best Lent Ever, Dynamic Catholic Institute
Self-love is important. Prayer is important. Inspiration and motivation are vital for the spiritual life, and when we are trying to walk but don’t know how to stand it is so easy to fall. Perhaps you need a more simple guide this Lent. Perhaps you need the “best Lent ever”. With Dynamic Catholic you can sign up for a free email program that will guide you on an incredible 40-day journey to become the-best-version-of-yourself, making this a truly life-changing Lent.
Every reflection is visually exquisite, and when the video is done you are given a daily challenge and easily enter into a daily prayer!
‘Life of the Beloved’ Lenten Book Study, Abiding Together Podcast
I love this podcast! These ladies are so real and bold in the words they share. Throughout Lent their podcast will be breaking open Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved. You can purchase the book at your local bookstore or on Amazon/Kindle. I freaked out when they announced this was the book because I have already begun it, but am excited to let them help me process it and bring it into the folds of practically living out the words that Nouwen wrote.
The whole premise of the book comes from a secular friend who asks Nouwen to write about the spiritual life in a way that omits theological language so that his other friends in the professional/secular world can understand. Here we have it, Life of the Beloved. This book dives into the reality that every single one of us is so intimately cherished by God that we were made out of love and for love.
It’s an amazing book and I’m excited for the ladies of this podcast to do this study throughout Lent.
Feel like you’re alone in this? I am a big fan of what That Catholic Couple is doing! They’re launching vLent again. They do daily vlogs that document their 40 days of sacrifice of Lent. What I love about That Catholic Couple is how honest they are in their YouTube Channel. Ana and Daniel, along with their daughter, have cultivated this online community. Last year’s vLent beautifully narrated the 40 days of a regular Catholic family, battling with issues of time management and prayer. It is so refreshing to witness the joy and raw reality of Lent for vLent 2018. If you love vlogs combined with motivation …you will not regret subscribing!
Please pray for me friends, I will be praying for you and your own journey through the desert this Lent.