The Magnificat® Lenten Companion (www.magnificat.com) is a good resource for Lent, in my opinion. Hats off to the folks who made this available at Our Lady of the Angels church in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
A sort of introduction in the booklet makes some good points:
"The directions on the packet of flower seeds read: 'Seeds need darkness to germinate.' It makes me think of myself. I want to grow. I want to become more than I am. Yet, so often my self-guided efforts leave me feeling empty.... The 'germination,' the better life that I seek, must start in darkness. Lent is that darkness. It is not something dreadful or depressing. Rather, Lent takes us back to what really matters in life...."There's almost a hundred more pages.
(Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.)
Don't worry: I'm not going to copy the whole booklet. There's the matter of intellectual property rights, and besides - transcribing all those words, and then proofing them, would be a really big chore. Just one more thing, a point that jumped out at me:
"...There is a temptation to see Lent as a time of self-improvement, during which my focus is on myself. However, my sin shows me that my hope can never be in myself. My only hope is that someone save me. St. Paul said:..."Father Veras goes on to quote St. Paul:
(Father Richard Veras)
"For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. ... Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin."-And I am not going to start discussing Gnosticism. Bottom line, about that: God made this creation: and God doesn't make junk. There are more erudite ways of putting that idea, of course. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 285; Benedict XVI, General Audience, 28 March 2007 | Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, St Peter's Square, (March 28, 2007))
(Romans 7:19, 24-25)
Lent, Reading, and a LavatoryI've noticed, over the years, that I'm not all that good at keeping up a 'one page a day' reading schedule. With Lent, 2011, I think I've got a solution.
Each day, I spend a certain amount of time in the bathroom (or lavatory, or whatever you call it). It's one of those unavoidable routines that comes with being a living, breathing human being.
In American culture, quite a few men take the sports section of the newspaper with them. During Lent, I've been taking The Magnificat® Lenten Companion along: and generally get a page or two read.
Okay: so that doesn't seem very 'spiritual.' The way I see it:
- God knows how the human body works
- I don't think He's offended by His own work
- I'm going to take several minutes each day taking care of some biological needs
- During that time I can
- Put my mind in 'neutral'
- Read part of the Lenten Companion
- During that time I can
- "Fasting, Penance, and the 'Fun' Miracle: Many Faces of Spirituality"
(December 14, 2010)
- "My Chaplet, Magic, Prayer and Catholic Beliefs"
(March 4, 2010)
- "Laughing at Lucifer: Link"
(February 17, 2010)
- "Holy Father on Lent, 2010: Link"
(February 16, 2010)
- "Happy Lent?! What Kind of a Nut am I?"
(March 3, 2009)