Palm Sunday: An unnamed woman and her prophetic act at Bethany
I have no memory. Every Palm Sunday I join the parade of parishioners, waving palm branches and singing “Hosanna” as we process into church. Each year, I am utterly devastated then when the passion is read. The happy hosannas are drowned in the refrain “Were you there?” and I am reminded again that the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. Such is the emotional roller coaster that begins Holy Week.
35 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Don't pass over Exodus
By Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas
This article appeared in the April 1979 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 44, No. 4, pages 36-40).
Week Four: Becoming children of the light
Millennials are obsessed with authenticity. We have been raised to explore who we are and to be that person. That might be why we can’t pass up the latest Buzzfeed quiz, whether it will tell us where we should live, what career we should have, or which Christian saint or pretty little liar we most resemble. And if authenticity is the cardinal virtue of the millennial generation, hypocrisy might be the considered the ugliest vice.
Week Three: Three refreshing gifts of Lent
Lent is a beautiful time of renewal that is often missed. Yet, just like an unexpected afternoon free, a chance to walk quietly alone in the forest or along the beach, Lent can provide the space to lean back into the now and take a deep refreshing breath with God when we see it in the proper perspective. The two questions remain though:
Will we take this opportunity?
If we do, how should we best go about it in a simple, sincere way?
Week Two: Lent provides a perfect opportunity for conversion
Students of Pope Francis summarize his agenda with the phrase “pastoral conversion.” Lent is an especially suitable time to think and pray about conversion. But what is pastoral conversion?
Week One: Three keys to making holiness a habit during Lent
Lent is a time to rid ourselves of habits that are doing little good, or even causing harm, to ourselves and others, and to replace them with habits that are life-giving. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. And contrary to the popular notion that habits can be changed in 21 days, experts tell us that it can take up to a year to change old habits and develop new ones. Lent is 40 days for a reason—holiness is a habit, and habits take time to take hold.
Ash Wednesday: Lent calls us to look inward—and to focus on community as well
An important lesson that I learned about Lent actually came from a Jewish friend. While working at Purdue University, I served under Dr. Robert Ringel, a devout man who approached his religious observances with deep care. In the first year that I worked for him, he came into my office to seek forgiveness for any wrong he may have done me. This was part of his preparation for Yom Kippur, a high holy day for the Jewish people and a day of atonement for sins against God and his people.
Weekly Reflections for Lent
Lent is a great time for reflection and prayer for Christians to prepare themselves for the coming of Easter. Throughout this holy season, we will be posting reflections from some well-known Catholics to enhance your spiritual life and to steer you on the path to holiness. Be sure to check back every week for more spiritual guidance during these 40 holy days.
30 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Don't let Lent pass you by
By Ken Maafe
This article appeared in the March 1984 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 49, No. 3, pages 12-13).
My father had an enduring love for the church and a healthy skepticism about some of its leaders’ decisions. Thus, every time he had to do without meat (in those days it was every Friday, not just during Lent), he would begin to rail against certain unnamed Italian cardinals.
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