Stations of the Cross
Easter is coming - Get ready!!!
Lent begins on February 13 with Ash Wednesday. Lent is a 40 day (Sundays are not counted) preparation for Easter.
On Ash Wednesday many Churches hold a special service during which they make a sign of the cross on your forehead using ashes and say one of the following statements:
Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. Mk 1:15
Repent, and hear the good news. Mk 1:15
Lent is a time of prayer, repentance and self-denial. It is a time of picking up your cross and walking with Jesus, a time of returning to God with your whole heart, a time of personal preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Stations of the Cross
To help you enter into the spirit of the Lenten season b has provided a Traditional Stations of the Cross devotional on the b website. There are 14 stations so if you do 2 reflections per week that will take you up to Easter Sunday. Go to www.b-ing.org and click on Stations of the Cross.
For those of you who have gone through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius using Journey with Jesus or some other resource an excellent way of entering into the Lenten season is revisiting Week 3 and walking with Jesus through the gospels narratives to the cross. In Journey with Jesus exercises for Ash Wednesday and the days that follow are found on p. 268. Once you finish with those first few days you will then be directed to Week 3 of the Exercises.
Giving up something for Lent
Finally some people give up something during Lent. Often it is something like chocolate, eating dessert, speeding but what if you sought to go a little deeper and “put off” something like complaining, arguing, needing to control everything, criticism, envy, selfish ambitions, hostility, divisions, jealousy, lying – choosing something that has a foothold in your life and seek to partner with God to help weed it out during the Lenten Season. Additionally, a corollary to “putting off” would be to “put on” something like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (just one) for the Lenten season.
I encourage you to ask God to reveal to you something to “put off” and “put on” during the Lenten season and ask God the the strength needed for this journey. This is not to be done willfully, you making it happen, but rather you need to be willing, yeilded to and depending on God and his strength. For apart from the sustaining power of Jesus you can do nothing.
Ephesians 4:22-24: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
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