A Patient Lent

When March rolls around in New England, I eagerly look forward to the arrival of spring and new plant life, only to discover that, same as last year, meteorological spring comes a lot sooner than the “spring” soil that allows the ground to be workable and new life to emerge. I am not an especially patient person. I hate waiting and doing nothing and the frustration that ensues when the ground and cold weather seem […]

Getting Ready for Lent 2019

Ash Wednesday is March 6, 2019, so today we’re highlighting just a few of the many Ignatian-inspired features designed to help you observe Lent. An Ignatian Prayer Adventure Join in an adapted version of the Spiritual Exercises, perfectly timed as a Lent and Easter retreat. This year Fiona Basile (pictured), author of the book Shhh…God Is in the Silence, will share her experiences with the retreat through posts on Wednesdays. The retreat begins on the […]

Walking Through Lent with the Risen Christ

Wrapping up an Ignatian retreat shortly before the start of Lent, I said to a priest-friend, “How am I supposed to go from feeling the joy of Easter right back into Lent?” He reminded me that Jesus is always risen and alive. We should always carry the joy of the risen Christ with us. I find it challenging to reconcile Easter and then Lent in this order. Of course, God has no problem with this […]

Letting This Lent Be God’s

What if this Lent we didn’t approach the practices of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting with an eye to what we can do to transform ourselves, but rather with an eye to what God wants to do in order to transform us? Too often we approach Lent as though it were a series of New Year’s resolutions: to give up a particular bad habit, or share more with the poor, or be more faithful to prayer. […]

Still Us as We Approach Lent

A recent New Yorker cartoon shows a couple in their swimsuits lounging under an umbrella on some beach. The caption reads: “Oh, no. We’re still us.” I think this captures very well how many of us are feeling by February or March of any given year. We thought we’d do better this year! We planned more carefully for those projects we want to complete. We were more realistic with the New Year’s resolutions. But we’re […]

A Lenten Invitation from William Barry, SJ

Just think about this: God, the creator of our vast universe, made each of us in his own image and likeness to be his friend and to cooperate with God in the great adventure of developing this planet. Moreover, after thousands of years of seeing how often human beings mess things up, God still delights in us so much that God became one of us in Jesus of Nazareth. God becomes as vulnerable as any […]

Enkindling the World Before Lent

This short period of Ordinary Time after the Christmas season is a great time to prepare ourselves for the season of Lent, leading to Christ’s Passion. We can spend time getting to know Jesus, encountering him, growing in friendship, witnessing his way of proceeding, and coming to know his heart. The Sunday readings in these weeks move from stories of calling, in which the disciples make a commitment to follow Jesus, to stories of Christ’s […]

I’m Having a Hard Time Sitting in the Desert This Lent

I’ve been trying to sit with Christ in the desert as St. Ignatius suggests. I can’t manage to stay with him for long. I’m uncomfortable. I’m hot. I’m thirsty. And, worst of all, I really just can’t stand to see him suffering. I want out. I’m ready to skip right ahead to the Resurrection. My Ignatian contemplation is hitting too close to home this year. When my mother passed in September of 2015, we brought […]

Lenten Spring Cleaning

Most years, as I make my way to the Ash Wednesday service, it’s bitterly cold outside, and the hope of spring seems distant. With Easter a bit later this year, I was surprised to look out my window on Ash Wednesday to see the signs of spring quietly beginning its slow advance on winter. This little change shifts my perspective, and I begin to think about Lent in the context of spring rather than winter. […]

What Are You Doing for Lent?

With Ash Wednesday only two days away, it’s time to decide which online tools might be helpful to you this Lent. We’ve already highlighted many of these in our 10 Ideas for Lent post, but today serves as a reminder and includes a few new ideas too. Living Lent Daily invites you to foster a daily practice of spiritual calm where God is at the center. Sign up for the daily e-mail messages and have […]

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