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Lent (page 2) - Reflections etc

notes and links (compiled by a parishioner) which may be of interest and help

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Bishop Robert Barron's Lent Reflections

40 Days - Scott Hahn click YouTube link if you can't see it below

A Lenten reflection from the late Cardinal Hume

"But now, now – it is Yahweh who speaks – come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.’ Let your hearts be broken, not your garments torn, turn to Yahweh your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, and ready to relent.

“The season of Lent is a time of grace given to us by God, in order to live in a more deliberate and conscious manner that element of Christian life which we call change of heart. It is a time for special effort, of preparation for the celebration of the great feast of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord. The grace we shall receive on that day is related to the kind of preparation we make to celebrate it.

In this reading, emphasis is put on the return to God. This is an emphasis of what must always be part of our Christian life, which is a constant change of heart – away from those things that separate us from God, towards those things which unite us to him.

Therefore in this period of concentration which we call Lent, part of our resolution must be to increase our life of prayer. If we do this, then we can be certain that God will speak to us, and guide us, and make increasingly clear to us what it may be in our lives which prevents our having a union with him, which is what he wants, and what, deep down, we want.” ~ ​Cardinal Hume

Reflection. WHAT TO GIVE UP . . !

Give up complaining. . . . . . . . focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism. . . . . . . . . become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments . . . . think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement. . . . .be full of hope.
Give up bitterness. . . . . . . . . . turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred. . . . . . . . . . . . . return good for evil.
Give up negativism . . . . . . . . . be positive.
Give up anger. . . . . . . . . . . . . .be more patient.
Give up pettiness. . . . . . . . . . ..become mature.
Give up gloom. . . . . . . . . . . . ..enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy. . . . . . . . . . . .pray for trust.
Give up gossiping. . . . . . . . . . control your tongue.
Give up sin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..turn to virtue.
Give up giving up. . . . . . . . . . . hang in there!

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20 Fasts 20 Feasts for Lent

Fast from judging others. Feast on Christ living in them
Fast from Darkness. Feast on the reality of light
Fast from anger. Feast on patience
Fast from bitterness. Feast on forgiveness
Fast from emphasis on difference. Feast on the unity of life.
Fast from thoughts of sickness. Feast on the healing hand of God.
Fast from worry. Feast on the providence of God.
Fast from pessimism. Feast on optimism
Fast from negatives. Feast on the affirmation.
Fast from complaining. Feast on appreciation.
Fast from pressures. Feast on reflective quietness.
Fast from gossip. Feast on the actual facts.
Fast from problems you cannot solve. Feast on prayer that achieves.
Fast from self-pity. Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from apathy. Feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from not what St. Joseph’s can do for you. Feast on what you can do for your Parish.
Fast from laziness. Feast on doing it yourself.
Fast from criticism. Feast on praise for effort.
Fast from fears. Feast on courage.
Fast from the Satan. Feast on Jesus as Saviour.

Original idea from ‘Lent Extra 2005’ by Redemptorist Publications, adapted for St. Joseph's Christchurch parish use during Lent 2015

Pope Francis’ Guide to Lent 'Time' article What you should give up, his different idea for fasting (2015).

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Lenten Question
Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?
A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term, or "the forty days."

Lenten Action.
Think of a person with whom you have a strained relationship and make some gesture toward improving that relationship.

Prayer
Direct our actions, Lord, by your holy inspiration and carry them forward by your gracious help, that all our works may begin in you and by you be happily ended. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

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Journey To The Foot Of The Cross:

Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers "10 Things to Remember for Lent" as the Church prepares to begin the season with Ash Wednesday on February 22, 2012:

1. Remember the formula. The Church does a good job capturing certain truths with easy-to-remember lists and formulas: 10 Commandments, 7 Sacraments, 3 persons in the Trinity. For Lent, the Church gives us almost a slogan; Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving as the three things we need to work on during the season.

2. It's a time of prayer. Lent is essentially an act of prayer spread out over 40 days. As we pray, we go on a journey, one that hopefully brings us closer to Christ and leaves us changed by the encounter with him.

3. It's a time to fast. With the fasts of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, meatless Fridays, and our personal disciplines interspersed, Lent is the only time many Catholics these days actually fast. And maybe that's why it gets all the attention. "What are you giving up for Lent? Hotdogs? Beer? Jelly beans?" It's almost a game for some of us, but fasting is actually a form of penance, which helps us turn away from sin and toward Christ.

4. It's a time to work on discipline. The 40 days of Lent are also a good, set time to work on personal discipline in general. Instead of giving something up, it can be doing something positive. "I'm going to exercise more. I'm going to pray more. I'm going to be nicer to my family, friends and co-workers."

5. It's about dying to yourself. The more serious side of Lenten discipline is that it's about more than self-control it's about finding aspects of yourself that are less than Christ-like and letting them die. The suffering and death of Christ are foremost on our minds during Lent, and we join in these mysteries by suffering, dying with Christ and being resurrected in a purified form.

6. Don't do too much. It's tempting to make Lent some ambitious period of personal reinvention, but it's best to keep it simple and focused. There's a reason the Church works on these mysteries year after year. We spend our entire lives growing closer to God. Don't try to cram it all in one Lent. That's a recipe for failure.

7. Lent reminds us of our weakness. Of course, even when we set simple goals for ourselves during Lent, we still have trouble keeping them. When we fast, we realize we're all just one meal away from hunger. In both cases, Lent shows us our weakness. This can be painful, but recognizing how helpless we are makes us seek God's help with renewed urgency and sincerity.

8. Be patient with yourself. When we're confronted with our own weakness during Lent, the temptation is to get angry and frustrated. "What a bad person I am!" But that's the wrong lesson. God is calling us to be patient and to see ourselves as he does, with unconditional love.

9. Reach out in charity. As we experience weakness and suffering during Lent, we should be renewed in our compassion for those who are hungry, suffering or otherwise in need. The third part of the Lenten formula is almsgiving. It's about more than throwing a few extra dollars in the collection plate; it's about reaching out to others and helping them without question as a way of sharing the experience of God's unconditional love.

10. Learn to love like Christ. Giving of ourselves in the midst of our suffering and self-denial brings us closer to loving like Christ, who suffered and poured himself out unconditionally on cross for all of us. Lent is a journey through the desert to the foot of the cross on Good Friday, as we seek him out, ask his help, join in his suffering, and learn to love like him.

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'as Lent begins' ~ from Lisa Anton (Canada) 2009

O God Who has created us,
listen as we bend our knee........
Lord of our being,
Cause us to rend our hearts in Thee!

Creator of the world, Life of all beings,
None has existed without Your touch!
We adore You, We thank You, for infinite love and mercy lavished upon us..
Let nothing come between us, O Holy One!
Let no part of creation adore You as the souls of those You have created in Your likeness and image!
We, Your people, bow down before You and proclaim that You are our God!
Holy and beautiful,
glorious and true,
kind and merciful.

We thank You, O glorious One, for creating us to be gloriously beautiful,
creating us in Your likeness and goodness......
We thank You for those hearts that live in You, through You, and for You,
and who are the likeness and goodness of Jesus walking the earth.

Come Lord Jesus, come!
Fill our hearts with Your very Presence and
bestow upon us Your very likeness,
that we may give back to the One Who has given us life,
all that we are able to give.
Let nothing escape Your touch, O Lord -
None of our sinfullness, our weakness, our passions.
For under Your gaze, all that is not of You, is reduced to ashes,
and all that is of You grows brighter day by day.

Holy Angels of God,
beauty beyond compare!
In your purity, the glory of God shines forth!
In your adoration and praise, He is given all He deserves.
Yet we are created to know Him, love Him and serve Him,
to become higher than any angel ever created??
We are given God Himself to dwell within our hearts!
He Who Is, comes to find His home within our being,
knowing the sin that greets Him,
Yet dwelling in this tarnished place.

Such love ~
Such mercy ~
Such humility ~
Beyond our understanding!

We thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Transform us completely!
Let the light that is You overtake our darkness and cause us to become children of Light.
May the Light go forth and illuminate the distant lands,
that You may steal and conquer all who have turned away,
all who have resisted,
that now and forever,
a mighty cry may resound from here upon the earth into eternity.
Amen. ~ from Lisa Anton (Canada) 2009

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord (2016): At the start of Holy Week, Jesus gloriously entered Jerusalem and was proclaimed as the promised Christ, the King of kings. Less than a week later, he was crucified. Palm Sunday gives us an opportunity to reflect, not only on the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but also on the pains, suffering and death that the Lord underwent on our behalf. As you prepare to enter into the events of Holy Week, take time to reflect personally on the love of Jesus who endured so much for you. To help in this, here is a list of the pains, sufferings and disgrace that Jesus endured on account of our sins.

Lord Jesus, forgive me my sins. For me....
You were betrayed by the apostle Judas;
You had false accusations made against You;
You were condemned to death and spat upon;
You were repeatedly hit and punched;
You were whipped with scourges until your torn back bled;
You had a crown of thorns placed on Your head;
You carried the heavy cross of my sins;
You were stripped naked in front of a crowd of people;
You were mocked;
You were hit on the head with a reed;
You had large nails driven through your hands and feet;
You had lots cast for your clothing;
You were given a sponge full of vinegar to drink;
You gave up your Spirit and died on the cross;
You had your side pierced with a spear.
Lord Jesus, your Passion and death marked true divine love, paying the ransom for my salvation. With all my heart, I thank you Lord Jesus. Amen. ~ Fr. John Gilbert (Helston & Falmouth)

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"Holy Saturday is the day of the 'death of God,' the day which expresses the unparalleled experience of our age, anticipating the fact that God is simply absent, that the grave hides him, that he no longer awakes, no longer speaks, so that one no longer needs to gainsay him but can simply overlook him…Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness; in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment. Where no voice can reach us any longer, there is he. Hell is thereby overcome, or, to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer. Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it."
~ Pope Benedict XVI

"Here we are, Your Church the Body from Your Body and from Your Blood. We are here, we are keeping watch. We are by Your sepulchre."
~ Pope John Paul II

WAY OF THE CROSS - Meditations by his Holiness Pope JOHN PAUL II - At the Colosseum, Good Friday 2003

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"Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps." (Luke 9:23)

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