Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

Prayerful Lenten Resources 2024

by | Feb 15, 2024

“Through the desert God leads us to freedom” is the theme of Pope Francis’s 2024 Lenten Message.  Beginning in the Book of Exodus, Pope Francis said that when God reveals God’s self, the message is one of freedom: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Ex 20:2).  Pope Francis asks us to consider those things that we cling to that perhaps need to be left behind so we can grow in the freedom of God’s love.

“If our celebration of Lent is to be concrete, the first step is to desire to open our eyes to reality.” Pope Francis asks if we hear the cries of our oppressed brothers and sisters.  “Do we hear that cry? Does it trouble us? Does it move us? All too many things keep us apart from each other, denying the fraternity that, from the beginning, binds us to one another”

Pope Francis said that Lent is a time to act, and to act also means “to pause.”

To pause in prayer, in order to receive the word of God, to pause like the Samaritan in the presence of a wounded brother or sister. Love of God and love of neighbour are one love. Not to have other gods is to pause in the presence of God beside the flesh of our neighbour. For this reason, prayer, almsgiving and fasting are not three unrelated acts, but a single movement of openness and self-emptying, in which we cast out the idols that weigh us down, the attachments that imprison us. Then the atrophied and isolated heart will revive. Slow down, then, and pause! The contemplative dimension of life that Lent helps us to rediscover will release new energies. In the presence of God, we become brothers and sisters, more sensitive to one another: in place of threats and enemies, we discover companions and fellow travelers. This is God’s dream, the promised land to which we journey once we have left our slavery behind.

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 from Ignatian Solidarity Network Refresh Lent 2024, 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 Traveling the Landscapes of Lent: A Digital Pilgrimage with Christ to the Cross   From the desolation of the desert to the busyness of crowded towns to the solitude of a mountain top, the Sunday Gospels of Lent invite us to travel through rich landscapes full of challenge and potential, where the story of creation reveals the story of God.  Each week, you will receive a reflection from the writers’ own experiences of encountering God in places similar to those found in the Gospel stories.

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.

From Ashes to Glory is a way of praying the Examen through Lent. Lunchtime Examen is a six-session series to review your day in the presence of God.

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 deepen your commitment to care for creation?  Register for one of Ignatian Solidarity Network’s Lenten Ecological Series about Lenten Food Waste Fast, No Buy Lent and Laudato Si Lent.

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 The Life of Jesus  by Andrea Tornielli, 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.

Elaine Ireland, IVC Baltimore Spiritual Director, offers Provisions for the Journey to Jerusalem, which are daily Scripture reflections.

USCCB offers a series of reflections and readings on the page What is Lent?

Creighton University is offering a self-guided Lenten Online Retreat.

Pax Christi is offering for purchase Frida Berrigan’s A Fast that Matters: Reflections for Lent 2024.