The season of Lent offers us an annual opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to an essential way of life, rooted in our baptism.
In our everyday world of many distractions, Lent provides us with an opportunity to pause during the day, reflect upon our frenzied patterns, to pray more deeply, to realign with the rhythms of the natural world, and to remember those in greater need than ourselves.
2016 Lent Message: “Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!” Pope Francis
Lent is a time when Christian communities reflect on the word of God, repent our transgressions and improve our ways through sacrifice. We begin this season with humility and end in grace.
The above, and much more, can be found at Praying Lent, the Online Ministry of Creighton University.
Here are more online resources for your Lenten devotions:
Lent 2016 / 40 Days of Mercy (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)
The theme for Pope Francis’s Lenten message for 2016 is The Works of Mercy on the Road of the Jubilee. The U.S. Bishops address that theme in a printable 40 Days of Mercy 2016 Lent Calendar which offers ideas for prayer, reflection and action during the Lenten season.
A Catholic guide for the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice (Global Catholic Climate Movement)
“This is the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, To let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.” (Isaiah 58:6)
Fasting is an ancient act of penance that has long been a spiritual exercise to help us control our worldly desires. Fasting helps us grow in virtue so that — by the grace of God — we can overcome sin. The Lenten Fast for Climate Justice reminds us that our food choices shape our natural world, so we must choose wisely in what we eat and what we avoid.
CRS Rice Bowl (Catholic Relief Services)
This year marks the 41st year of CRS Rice Bowl – the largest and oldest Lenten program practiced by Catholics in the US. Through prayer and donations, the CRS Rice Bowl campaign alleviates hunger caused by poverty and eases the lives of families in developing countries as well as here in the US. We invite you to visit the CRS Rice Bowl website for links to Stories of Hope, Reflections and even Lenten Recipes.
Maryknoll Lenten Reflection Guide (Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns)
This Lenten Reflection Guide contains reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading and the teachings of Pope Francis in his latest encyclical, Laudato Si’. Use this 16-page guide individually or in small groups to reflect upon our life patterns, to pray more deeply, and renew our spirits to face the realities of our world.