LENTEN OPPORTUNITIES & RESOURCES AT ST. GILES PARISH
May our Lenten practices help to nourish and strengthen us for the great task of bringing Christ wherever we are.
Here are the Lenten Opportunities for spiritual growth that St. Giles Parish offers this Lent.
This Lent, a portion of our Sunday collections will go to the following two organizations:
Annunciation House and Catholic Extension and La Posada Providencia
EASTER SUNRISE SHOEBOXES ARE STILL ONGOING!
Parishioners are encouraged to continue assembling them at home as a family Lenten project but should hold onto them until Church reopens and Masses resume.
They can bring them to the Parish at that time!
Shoeboxes collected will be donated to various Outreach Organizations, including the Franciscan Outreach.
Find Peace and Healing this Lent
Four reflection books will be available for you to choose:
Springtime for the Soul – This daily reflection book by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and their Associates contains the readings of the day, a reflection, prayer and a personal challenge. We are asked to enter a time of holy waiting with a particular posture of faith and awe, with patience, trust and hope.
Becoming Instruments of God’s Peace – In a world torn by division and brokenness, St. Francis reminds us that God calls us to be a source of Christ’s peace and healing. Through daily reflections from the writings of spiritual leaders and accompanying scripture, this book focuses on peace – both within ourselves and in the world.
The Healing Rosary – Complete with more than 50 Scripture verses and reflections from Fr. Thomas Connery, this unique book guides us closer to our healing God.
The Sanctuary For Lent 2020 – Embark on a 46-day trek through the wilderness of Lent with daily devotions, key Bible verses, recommended Scripture readings, and spiritual practices that help prepare minds and hearts for Easter. Seven weekly themes: repent, recover, remember, rest, release, rise, and relive – spur you on.
OTHER WEEKLY BOOKS TO READ AND REFLECT
Lent is a season in which we are called to carve out time for God in the chaos of our lives. One way to do that is through spiritual reading. Each week this Lent, we will review a book that might call to you – perhaps you can add it to your Lenten reading!
THIRD WEEK OF LENT – MARCH 15-22
The Ministry of Reconciliation, Robert J Schreiter, CPPS – In a world of conflict and in which religious differences play a significant role, reconciliation grows increasingly important. The Ministry of Reconciliation shows how with a spirituality of reconciliation we can create the spaces in which reconciliation can happen, and with human strategies, how the process of reconciliation can move forward.
For all those working to overcome the effects of violence – whether in communities and societies, or even in neighborhoods and families – The Ministry of Reconciliation offers a sure guide and inspiration to the way of divine shalom.
Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans – From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Held Evans comes a book that is both a heartfelt ode to the past and a hopeful gaze into the future. Like many, Rachel didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals and church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it. While not Catholic, Rachel uses the sacraments to illustrate her journey, and reminds us of what it means to be a part of the church.
SECOND WEEK OF LENT – MARCH 8-15
In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him! – Pope Francis, Laudato Si
In his second encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care of Our Common Home, Pope Francis calls us all into a dialogue with every person on the planet about our common home. Pope Francis’ letter joins the body of the Church’s social and moral teachings with the best scientific research to open our eyes to the complex and wonderful mystery of Creation – and our obligation to care for it.
FIRST WEEK OF LENT – MARCH 1-8
Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J.’s River of Fire is an intimate memoir of her spiritual journey in faith. A storyteller who shares her passion and purpose in life with the reader, Sr. Helen writes about her relationships with friends, fellow nuns and mentors that shaped her over the years. The book is thought-provoking, inspiring and informative, filled with honesty and wit. It ends where her book Dead Man Walking begins, when she was first invited to correspond with a man on Louisiana’s death row.
WEEKLY BULLETIN REFLECTIONS
THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT – THE RAISING OF LAZARUS – MARCH 29
The death of a loved one touches us at a level far deeper than any other human experience. It is so strong that it even affects God. Psalm 16 says: “Precious in the eyes of the Lord God is the death of one of his faithful.” It is no surprise then, that Jesus is moved to tears as he stands at Lazarus’ tomb. In his stirring prayer, he expresses his belief in the loving Providence of God loud enough for all to hear.
In the beginning of this encounter, Jesus asks Martha and Mary if they believe in him. At the conclusion, he expresses his own belief so that the crowds may hear and believe.
What do you need, especially in times of loss and sorrow, to believe in Jesus and see the glory of God shine forth?
Reflection Questions – In this time of uncertainty and isolation, we can focus on our fear – or we can fix our minds on the message we hear in the Gospel. Talk with your family around the dinner table or call a friend and have a conversation! In what way are we bound like Lazarus? How has Jesus called us to new life? How are we called to bring new life to others?
– Sr. Mary McNulty, O.P.
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT – MARCH 22
Here is a story of symbolic movement from darkness to light and unbelief to belief. On the one hand there is a man who has lived in darkness all his life (ignorance). He carries out a simple task of washing. He receives physical sight as well as sharp spiritual vision. This keeps him calm under interrogation and even after being rejected by family and community, he remains open to new learning.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, prided themselves in their ability to spot sin and move to condemn it. In their questioning of the man, they become agitated. If what he says is true, it will rock their world view. They turn a blind eye to his situation and throw him out. Unwillingness to see a new idea if it threatens what we already believe often divides communities. Today, our community and the whole world must come together, not give in to division.
– Sr. Mary McNulty, O.P.
THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – AN ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS – MARCH 15
Two persons from different worlds and traditions meet on a hot day and strike up a conversation about being thirsty. Jesus’ simple request for a drink literally uncorks questions and feelings that the woman has kept bottled up inside her. Her directness prompts Jesus to delve a little further. Their conversation goes from the surface to the depths. When she recognizes him as a prophet, she wants to know what prophets know. When he tells her about her secrets, she is free. Her status changed to that of disciple, she runs back to town to announce the good news to her townspeople.
Imagine in our time meeting Jesus at a highway rest stop. What would our conversation sound like?
– Sr. Mary McNulty, O.P.
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT – TRANSFIGURATION – MARCH 8
Peter, James and John had followed Jesus up hills and mountainsides before as he taught them. But this trip would be different.
Jesus was transfigured before them. Transfiguration is the moment when a person is unveiled to reveal the fullness of power, glory and holiness. The disciples saw this power coming from Jesus. In Jewish tradition, Moses and Elijah had talked face-to-face with God — and now they were talking with Jesus! Peter, in a trance, suggests building tents to stay a while. The Voice from the cloud interrupts him. There is nothing for Peter to do but listen.
When it was over, there was Jesus as before, but they would never be able to see him the same way again. The transfiguration shows us that no matter what we see in Jesus, there will always be more than we can imagine or understand. It will take our lifetime to comprehend the vision.
– Sr. Mary McNulty, O.P.
THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT – FACING THE QUESTIONS – MARCH 1
On the first Sunday of Lent Jesus finds himself facing a tempter and the serious question which the tempter’s tease repeats: “If YOU are the Son of God, test God.” Jesus refuses to do so. Instead, in response, he goes back to Deuteronomy – and uses the scriptures to answer each taunt of the tempter. Finally Jesus dismisses the tempter and finds the meaning for his life in the quote that follows: “You shall worship the lord your God and Him alone shall you serve.”
In our world many ask questions like: “If there is a God, then why..?” Or, “If God is good, then how come…?” No easy answers exist, however, as Jesus did, we may find many in Scripture. In our journey of faith, if questions tempt, we can learn from Jesus: to worship God alone, serve the good, and God will send comfort.
– Sr. Mary McNulty, O.P.
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
March 29 – April 5
March 15 – March 22
March 1 – March 8
February 26 – March 1
LENTEN REGULATIONS – FAST AND ABSTINENCE
From Ash Wednesday, February 26 to the Paschal Triduum
- Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence in the United States. All Fridays of the year are days of penance in some form.
- The obligation of abstinence (refraining from eating meat) begins at the age of 14. The law of fasting (limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals) obliges all between the ages of 18-59. No one should consider this obligation lightly.
- Those individuals who have a medical condition in which fasting may be considered harmful are not obliged to fast, but should perform some other act of penance or charity.
- Pastors and parents are to see to it that minors, though not bound by the law of fast and abstinence, are educated in the authentic sense of penance and encouraged to do acts of penance suitable to their age.
- All members of the Christian Faithful are encouraged to do acts of penance and charity during the Lenten season beyond what is prescribed by the law.
- As a general rule, a request for a dispensation from the obligation of abstinence on Fridays of Lent will not be considered unless some serious reason is present.