Take Courage, Do Not Be Afraid
“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. … Come” (Jesus to Peter Mt 14:27, 29)
Our Catholic Church is providing us with many, many excellent resources for Lent. So rather than an article, I thought I’d share these…
For a few minutes of insight to carry into your day, join the Carmelites Lenten reflections “Through the Cross to the Light”, based upon the writings of Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus, a victim to the WWII concentration camps. Sign up https://eepurl.us6.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=7c9d2aa0ecc1fde64fd44bc67&id=48970c68bf First video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUCuyD4M9WI
What is my root sin? What is a root sin? Dan Burke and SpiritualDirection.com are offering a free workbook to help you dig deeper into your own heart and uncover that which lurks in its shadows. https://spiritualdirection.com/root-sin-ebook-2024 As he explained “Now I can see what they saw, what I couldn’t see in myself at the time. My understanding of pride was not quite on the mark. Once I realized that some of my greatest strengths had shadow sides, that pride lurked behind my drive to accomplish even good and holy goals, I was able to finally recognize what my spiritual fathers could see clearly.” Sound familiar?
The Institute of Catholic Culture is offering a 3-day online retreat led by Monsignor Charles Pope based upon the writings of Pope Benedict XVI. “a series of reflections on the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Father, how it is expressed through prayer, and how we participate in the sonship of Jesus through His prayer.” Behold the Pierced One begins on Ash Wednesday and runs through Friday February 16 the first 3 days of Lent. All ICC programing is always FREE. You can also search their library for offerings in past years too. https://instituteofcatholicculture.org/events/behold-the-pierced-one?vgo_ee=%2Bb06tcxBxNoLGOH0dJv9EQ0XRF7ltwPydP0fj1YM6NapV9B%2FrAh0cK8d0SZNZ5M%3D%3Al3%2B5TfYZ8Mz6SqgNkCUcbYYJsZzwjvtA
Drs. John Bergsma and Scott Hahn, two of the leading bible scholars in North America, are offering a free series entitled Exodus & Exile. Every day, Dr. Bergsma will deliver a brief 10 minute video explaining the Exodus and with a daily challenge. Weekly Dr. Hahn will provide an inspiring talk in living as Catholics in Exile. https://stpaulcenter.com/exodus/?mc_eid=1c485fe52f
Matthew Leonard @ The Science of Sainthood gives us a new look into the liturgy. Beyond the how-to’s, smells and bells, Dr. Leonard’s free Lenten program will take us into the mystery itself, the mystical experience of the mass. https://www.scienceofsainthood.com/lent-2024-dedicated-optin-page-email-list-video
Fr. Dave Pivonka TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, provides an outstanding video series, My Father’s Father. Well produced in beautiful locations around the US, Fr. Pivonka shares his journey with us as he learned to understand fatherhood, both earthly and Heavenly. Filmed as though the viewer is part of the conversation, this will surely give much to reflect and pray about. https://wildgoose.tv/programs/father-trailer
To piggy-back onto Fr. Pivonka’s series, you may find beneficial this free 17-part series with Fr. Shawn Monahan OMV: The Path to Healing Broken Hearts. It is recommended you watch one per week and keep it in prayer as well as in heart as you go about daily life. Fr. Monahan provides keen insights from a number of experts into healing the spirit. Although there is an extra small cost for the workbook, I highly recommend it. The workbook captures the important information to sit with in prayer, and provides pages for journaling. It is a gentle but structured program to begin healing. https://www.omvusa.org/watch-path-healing-broken-hearts/?eType=CommSeriesComponent&eId=9dafd610-459d-4ca6-8a6e-8e605a14402c
Regnum Christi Spirituality is providing a free video series meditating on the face of Christ in each of the stations of the cross. Videos are sent every Wednesday and Friday in Lent. “Gaze upon Jesus’ face as did Mary, the women, and his bravest followers, who, though devastated, accompanied Him on the journey of His Passion’s walk to Golgotha”. https://rcspirituality.org/lent-2024/
Regnum Christi also provides a number of past online retreats, free. These are well produced, typically comprised of two short videos and a medium-length conference video. Scriptures and reflection questions included. https://rcspirituality.org/retreat_guide/
Also RC is the Magdala Institute onsite in Jerusalem, offering free weekly videos of Christian prayer in the Holy Land. Their Advent retreat was outstanding and I have high expectations for this one too. https://media.magdala.org/en/pilgrimage/pilgrimage-of-prayer
Red Bird Ministries is USCCB-approved grief support for parents who have lost a child of any age, preborn through adult. Red Bird is offering a Lenten journaling study guided with video presentations. Join an online group or form one at your parish. https://www.redbird.love/lenten-stud
Life-giving wounds is an excellent support group for adults who were children of divorce. Their spring support group runs February 29-April 11 with weekly meetings guided by experts addressing a myriad of challenges faced by adult children of divorce. https://www.lifegivingwounds.org/2024-spring-online-support-group
Lastly, as we celebrate National Marriage Week, consider this Lent to be a time in which you allow your loving Father to transform your marriage by transforming you. The Alexander House is an outstanding ministry for couples, offering both online and in person help. https://www.thealexanderhouse.org/
For couples who aren’t ready for the deep-dive but want to add a little structure and God-focus to their marriage, Emmaus 90 provides via daily email a saint story, reflection, and encouragement. https://emmaus-90.mailchimpsites.com/
Plus you can browse the past articles posted in February and March every year on The Face of Grace Project for ideas and inspiration into living a purposeful-Lent that continues beyond Easter. 😊 https://thefaceofgraceproject.com/
Lent is more than just giving things up. It is a time to take on new ways of seeing and understanding the world, particularly in our relationships, by letting God transform us. The world needs to see holiness in action, to experience grace, to meet the Jesus they never knew. And God has deigned to do this through us as His instruments. But “take courage…do not be afraid”. Use these 40 days to learn how much your Lord loves you and to receive His love. Then see what the rest of 2024 brings. 😊
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
(Image by Julius Sergius von Klever, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
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