lent

BEFORE THE CROSS | Lenten discipline counteracts belief that our desires define us

Lent begins this week. What's your plan?

Sometimes our Lenten disciplines feel pretty random. We give up chocolate, or beer, or whatever — not because of any intrinsic value in them, but just because we feel like we should give something up. The apparent randomness can become an argument — sometimes from others, sometimes in our own minds — against keeping up the discipline. Does it really matter?

I'm all for well-chosen Lenten disciplines. But even apparently random disciplines have tremendous value for ourselves and our world, and we should hold fast to them.

Why?

Our community shares their time-honored traditions for Lent

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Lent, a season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, is the pathway toward Easter and Christ's victory over death. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14, and Easter Sunday is April 1.

We posed the question on social media: What are your time-honored Lenten practices? Here's what you had to say.

Make a list of 40 people to pray for. Dedicate 40 minutes a day to pray for one person each day. Or choose one person for whom to pray for 40 minutes a day for all 40 days.

DEAR FATHER | Station churches are part of ancient Lenten tradition

The station (or stational) churches are specific churches in the city of Rome that are designated to be visited by the pope or his delegate on a particular day of the Lenten season.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Our Lenten journey requires pardon and healing

According to this week's readings, we have sinned. What we deserve is punishment. What God offers, instead, is mercy and compassion.

But what are the qualities of mercy and compassion? When we hope for them what exactly are we hoping for? The more we know that, the more we'll know what our Lenten journey is about.

Certainly, we hope for forgiveness. As the Psalm for Monday pleads: "Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins." But do we hope that God will forgive us without changing us?

Marianist group at St. Mary’s tackles racial justice topic

The topic of racial justice is one that a group focused on Marian spirituality might have been inclined to skip.

But Mary led them to it, and the result is a Lenten program being held at St. Mary's High School on Wednesday evenings with a theme of "With Mary Toward Racial Justice." The weekly presentations on Marian spirituality and racial justice are open to the public.

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