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A Lenten Journey Feature Image

A Lenten Journey

Once again, the church invites us to enter into Lent and reflect on how we live our Christian lives. We do this amidst our world broken by war and natural disasters. Dangerous situations across the globe spawn millions of refugees. We are challenged to step into their pain, to be with them as they embark on journeys forced upon them. On this Ash Wednesday, we may choose to be marked with ashes. This action will signify our commitment to our own Lenten journey and our willingness to join others on their march to freedom. Ashes are remnants. Ashes remind us of where there was life. Ashes invite us to choose the journey to a new life.

How will I journey?

As we move through the days of Lent, we will share various questions, quotes and poetry for reflection each week.  Hopefully, as we arrive at the Easter celebration, we will continue to be pilgrims with all of our sisters and brothers that may be ONE for …

“We are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.”

Earth Charter

Wednesday, February 14

Our Lenten journey begins today, Ash Wednesday, and coincides with Valentine’s Day- a celebration of love. Perhaps love can set a direction for our journey. While we receive ashes, the outward sign of our mortality, fragility and vulnerability, we are also aware of the Love who fills the universe and walks with us in the daily events of our lives. Jesus faced temptation, rejection, disappointments and misunderstandings, yet he continued to love. 

As we journey through Lent, let us be mindful of the many small ways we can spread love and be love for others by our presence, care and kindness. Love will show us the way!

Gail Addis, IHM

Wednesday, February 21

The Church year offers many opportunities for journeys in faith, leading to a stronger spiritual life and a closer relationship with God.  Although many dread the season of Lent, looking at the time as dark, quiet, and even sad, it may be the time of the Church year that offers the greatest opportunities for a heightened spiritual journey to a closer relationship with Jesus.  Lent offers us the suggestion of sacrifice.  It doesn’t have to be giving up chocolate or any other treat. Rather, it can be a sacrifice of time, time for more prayer and reflection, spiritual reading, meditation, and spiritually healing silence as we, together as Christians, make the journey with Jesus to the Cross and the glory and gift of the Resurrection.

Chuck VanVleet, IHM Associate

Wednesday, February 28

For me, Lent is a time to focus not on what I should give up but on what I can give out. As I pray the daily scriptures with Jesus, I try to listen, hear and reflect on what Jesus is inviting me to do this day. How can I respond with a listening and caring heart to the lives of the people and events that are part of my everyday life and ministry? I can do this by making the effort to have my words and actions reflect the Christ-like qualities that Jesus taught and lived. What would Jesus do? I believe God has created each of us to do some special service that is only ours. Lent calls me to bring the Good News of Jesus by my life. Use words when necessary, but actions speak louder! If I can touch the mind and heart of even one person, I will live my mission.

Elizabeth Fleckenstein, IHM

Wednesday, March 6

I walk this Lenten Season in a spirit of brokenness in a fractured and lost world. Our Earth is tired and so are we. I pray each day in the hope of a healing resurrection for our world and every human being. I look with the light of Faith that the spirit of the resurrection will guide my heart and my life.

Mary Ellen Hochkins, IHM Associate

Wednesday, March 13

The IHM Senior Living Community apartment residents share this week’s Lenten reflection. Around a dozen residents meet for a weekly prayer service on Friday mornings.  Residents encourage others to embrace their journey wholeheartedly; each received a small piece of burlap, the cloth for the poor and lowly, to inspire each to be humble of heart. They use content from A Lenten Hobo Honeymoon Daily Reflections for the Journey of Lent by Edward Hays, along with song, scripture, prayer and sharing to enhance their Lenten experience. IHM Associate and prayer group member Pam Gordon shares, “We motivate each other to remain faithful to our individual Lenten goals and discover new ways of turning our hearts to God.”

Wednesday, March 20

Where did Lent go? Palm Sunday is already upon us! Is it too late to commit myself to Jesus in his passion and resurrection? It is never too late …

Holy Week is a privileged time of deep reflection upon the love God has for us. In Jesus’ passion and death, we understand how far that love will go. The palms remind us of our commitment to the One who comes in the name of the Lord, a refrain we sing at every Eucharist. It is a proclamation that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Let us enter into Holy Week with hearts open to this God who loves us.

Peg O’Shea, IHM

Wednesday, March 28

We know the destination of our Lenten journey is the Easter Triduum, our celebration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Will we come to it as detached onlookers or knowing participants? Every year, Lent finds us differently. Some years, we come with great personal sorrows, a death in the family or illness, or a misfortune in life, work, or relationships. Other times, we come grieving the sufferings of the world, unending wars, floods and fires, and senseless violence. Still, at other times, we bring a restlessness in our hearts about our purpose or destination. Yet all of it – all of it – is taken up into the mystery of the one who walks with us, the suffering God-Man Jesus Christ, for ‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.’

Judy Coyle, IHM