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Lenten Prayerful Resources
The story of Jesus’ transfiguration forms the basis for two proposals that Pope Francis’s asks us to consider in his 2023 Lenten Message, Lenten Penance and the Synodal Journey. Pope Francis said that God commanded the disciples on Mount Tabor as they contemplate Jesus transfigured to “‘Listen to him.’”
“The first proposal, then, is very clear: We need to listen to Jesus,” Pope Francis said. “Lent is a time of grace to the extent that we listen to him as he speaks to us.” In addition to the Scriptures, “the Lord speaks to us through our brothers and sisters, especially in the faces and the stories of those who are in need.”
Pope Francis’ second Lenten proposal is to confront the difficulties of ordinary life remembering that Lent is a period that leads to Easter. “Do not take refuge in a religiosity made up of extraordinary events and dramatic experiences, out of fear of facing reality and its daily struggles, its hardships and contradictions. The light that Jesus shows the disciples is an anticipation of Easter glory, and that must be the goal of our own journey, as we follow ‘him alone.’”
The following are some online prayerful resources for your Lenten journey (Hyperlinks are bolded in purple) …
Looking for different ways to pray during Lent? The Online Ministry of Creighton University offers both written and audio prayers and readings (as well as recipes for Ash Wednesday and Fridays) in Praying Lent.
Would you like a mediation sent to your inbox each day during Lent? Consider Finding God in the Chaos from Ignatian Solidarity Network, Lent Devotional from Georgetown University, Return to Me from the College of the Holy Cross, and Living Lent Daily from Loyola Press.
Would you like a meditation emailed once a week? The Jesuit Conference is offering Beauty In the Desert: An Ignatian Lenten Offering. With a view that art helps us deepen our understanding of God in our world and our lives, Ignatian writers will offer a meditation upon a poem and a song that inspires them during Lent.
If you would like to read a daily reflection during Lent and throughout the year, consider Jesuit Prayer, a ministry of the Jesuit provinces, Sacred Space, a ministry of the Irish Jesuits, and Pray As You Go, a ministry of the Jesuits of Britain.
Here are several Lenten video reflections, including Almsgiving and Joy during Lent by Fr. Jim Martin, Do a Little Life Laundry in Lent by Fr. Paul Brian Campbell, Fasting and Abstinence During Lent by Fr. Richard Leonard, and Having a Friendship with God this Lent by Fr. William Barry.
Would you like to fast from buying? Ignatian Solidarity Network is sponsoring No-Buy Lent 2023 in order to make space for the sacred and to give the planet a rest.
Would you like to pray for migrants? Consider joining in with Jesuit Refugee Services USA’s 40 Prayers for 40 Days: A Lenten Prayer Guide to pray for migrants and refugees around the world.
Would you like to pray the Stations of the Cross? Pray with Jesuit Refugee Services’ Stations of the Cross to accompany Jesus on his journey and watch and pray over displaced people around the world. The Way of the Cross features reflections being read aloud by the Jesuits of the Midwest Province.
Ignatian Spirituality is sponsoring a host of offerings that may be found here, including Forgive Everyone Everything, by Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., a Lenten read-along with Loyola Press, The Ignatian Prayer Adventure, an adaptive version of the Spiritual Exercises, and a series of articles including Discernment in Making Lenten Plans, Where Have We Not Yet Surrendered our Lives to God, and A Patient Lent.
Loyola Press also has a host of offerings for Lent that may be found here, including Living Lent Daily, Online prayers and retreats, Arts and Faith for Lent, Perspectives on Lent, Seven last words, and more.
The Office of Ignatian Spirituality, a ministry of the USA East Province of Jesuits, is offering Lenten Audio Reflections that will be emailed to you. Also available are the Ignatian Guide to Lent reflections.
Elaine Ireland, IVC Baltimore Spiritual Director, offers Provisions for the Journey to Jerusalem, which are daily Scripture reflections.
Kate Bowler offers Bless the Lent We Actually Have, 40 days to read, reflect and bless our imperfect lives.
USCCB offers a series of reflections and readings on the page What is Lent?
Creighton University is offering a self-guided Lenten Online Retreat.
On Catholicism and Racism
- Pastoral Letter on Racism – Open Wide Our Hearts
- Study Guide for Open Wide Our Hearts
- Catholic Social Teaching and Racism
- Pope Francis and the US Bishops Respond to the Killing of George Floyd
- Georgetown University – Dialogue with Archbishop Gregory on Racism in Our Streets and Structures
- Ignatian Solidarity Network – Faith in Action Responding to Racial Injustice, which includes links to information about webinars, recent articles, and reflections.
- Jesuit Social Research Institute – Racism, which includes links to information about recent articles and resources.
- An Examen for Racism
- Discernment in Times of Injustice
- Prayers for Racial Justice and Reconciliation
- Pax Christi – Black Lives Matter: Pray, Study, Act
- Prayer Service for Racial Healing
- Prayer for the Elimination of Racism
- Prayer to Address the Sin of Racism
- Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
- Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century, Dorothy Roberts
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander
- Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, Bryan N. Massingale
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-century America, Ira Katznelson
- The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, Robin DiAngelo
- Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty, Annelise Orleck
- America’s Original Sin, Jim Wallis
Here is a list of prayerful resources that have been prepared in response to the coronavirus. Please feel free to share this list with others.
If you are interested in prayerful resources related to Ignatian Spirituality ….
- Here is an Examen that was created in response to COVID-19.
- In addition to the Examen, the Ignatian Solidarity Network has created these Prayers and Resources in response to COVID-19.
- Here is a Meditation for the Anxious.
- Ignatian Spiritualty contains many prayerful resources, including Ignatian Wisdom for Troubled Times and, in addition to the Examen noted above, a Coronavirus response lesson for children in parishes and schools
- Pray As You Go has daily prayers by the Jesuits of Britain. Also now is Pray As You Stay, a weekly online retreat in response to COVID-19. There is also a library of Prayer Tools: the tool highlighted for this week is loneliness.
- Sacred Space is the prayer website for the Irish Jesuits, with a Reflection on the coronavirus.
- The Jesuit Prayer Team provides reflections on Scripture as well as short biographies on the “Blessed Among Us,” the ordinary people who led extraordinary lives who have gone before us
- God In All Things contains many prayerful resources, including an Audio Meditation on “Beloved.”
- Heart to Heart also contains a series of prayerful resources, including Practices for the Pandemic – The Sign of the Cross Mediation and Seeds of Hope Lenten Series.
- There is a Three Minute Retreat from Loyola Press.
- Do you like podcasts? Jesuit podcasts can be found at AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast and Jesuitical.
- Would you like to keep moving? Ignatian Yoga may be something for you.
- Here is a link to Practices for the Pandemic – Sign of the Cross presented by Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.
Other prayerful resources
- Give Us This Day, a monthly publication of Scripture and reflections, is offering its digital version without charge.
- The Hallow app is a Catholic mediation app.
- Another podcast? Here is one from Inside the Vatican.
- Would you like to participating in liturgy electronically? Pope Francis’s Daily Mass from Casa Santa Marta and Bishop Barron’s Daily Mass are available, as well as Sunday Mass that are archived and livestreamed on Sunday in the Albany Diocese.
- Holy Week at Home prepared by Liturgical Press.
Would you prefer a prayer? Here are some.
- Prayer for Healing
- Prayer for Peace and Solidarity in a Time of the Pandemic.
- Pope’s Prayer to Mary
- Prayer for Conscience and Courage During Times of Public Struggle
Reflections about living during this time
- From Jim Martin, SJ, Faith in the Time of the Coronavirus
- From Simcha Fischer, Good and Beautiful Things I’ve Seen Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
- From Richard Rohr, OFM, Love Alone Overcomes Fear
- From Thomas Reese, Spirituality in a Time of Quarantine
- From Arturo Sosa, SJ, Superior General of the Jesuits, What Part of the Path to God does COVID-19 show us?