Journey Through Lent with RCSpirituality! Weekly Message 2-10-2015

Lent is a special time in the liturgical year that challenges us to grow in Christian maturity. As members of the universal Church, we receive guidance and words of wisdom from Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict. 

Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010 that “Lent is like a long ‘retreat’ during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual ‘combat’ which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith:  prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism.”

Pope Francis, in his message for Lent 2015, also referenced Pope Benedict’s term “formation of the heart,” as a way to grow in mercy and openness to the needs of others:

“As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others. During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.”

Pope Francis’ Lenten message is beautiful in its entirety and a quick read.

At RCSpirituality, we invite you to visit our website for resources that can aid you and your spiritual companions in continual “formation of the heart” this Lent. You will find inspiring online Retreat Guides, informative Study Circle Guides, and thoughtful “Ask A Priest” responses to address your own questions on the mystery of sorrow, death, and redemption. “Ask a Priest” is a great way to grow in your knowledge of the faith and form your mind and heart to the wisdom of the Church.

From our extensive selection of Retreat Guides, you could try these topics for Lent:

 When I Am Weak – A Retreat Guide on the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

A Mother’s Tears – A Retreat Guide on Our Lady of Sorrows

The Colors of the Cross – A Retreat Guide for Lent

The Trouble with Trust – A Retreat Guide for Lent

The Anatomy of Temptation – A Retreat Guide on David and Goliath

Troubled Hearts – A Retreat Guide on Peace of Soul

The Retreat Guides are available in different formats that make them flexible for individual use or in small groups. The PDF option allows you to read a paragraph each day during the 40 days of Lent. The video segments can be watched each day in Lent, or as a family on Friday evenings. Lent is also a great time to make that extra effort to form a small group with family, friends, or fellow parishioners. Our Study Circle Guides and visually appealing Retreat Guides make it easy to hold small group sessions.  

Our great hope at RCSpirituality is that our resources will encourage and strengthen you to be more “open to God,” and pave the way along the “roads that lead to our brothers and sisters.”  

With the assurance of my prayers during this Lenten season,

God Bless In Christ, 

Lucy Honner

Director, RC Spirituality

P.S. Can you support our mission with a regular monthly donation? Click HERE to help us keep them coming! A monthly donation as small as $5 will keep the Retreat Guides coming and touch many hearts!

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