A Fast That Matters: Reflections for Lent 2024 - This year’s Lent booklet features reflections for every day of Lent from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday written by Frida Berrigan. Frida is a writer, columnist, community organizer, and gardener who lives with her family in Connecticut. She is the author of It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing into Rebellious Motherhood, the story of how she tries to apply the lessons of her parents, Pax Christi USA Teachers of Peace Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister and the community of Jonah House they helped found, to her own mothering and life.
Frida's Lenten reflections are personal and political, provocative in the questions they raise and beguiling to any of us who are trying to make our way in the world as people of peace, compassion and justice. Her words challenge and amuse, rooted in the experiences of her everyday family life and a long history with the peace movement. Reading Frida's stories and insights is like conversing with an old friend over matters both great and small, but all imbued with meaning and wisdom. She is an excellent companion for anyone wishing to spend these days of Lent deepening their experience of what it means to witness to the God of nonviolence and love.
NOTE: The special pre-order price of the booklet is $4.00 a copy (with further discounts of 10 percent on orders of 10-99 or 30 percent for 100+). Pre-orders will take place between November 20 and December 8, with shipments beginning on January 2. A special pre-order price of $4 for each booklet is offered (regular price post-Dec. 8 will be $5). Order your copies now for yourself, your parish, religious community, ministry, school, and family to assure reception in time the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday, February 14th.
EXCERPT: From Ash Wednesday, Frida writes:
"Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to your God." (Joel 2:12-13)
My forehead feels like a Vegas billboard ringed in neon. The small black cross itches and tingles and almost pulses as I try to go about my day. At every turn, I feel a strange and slightly uncomfortable kinship with anyone else bearing the humble cross across their forehead. The white man in a striped and requisite tie, the Black woman with the bright scarf, the Latina dressed for the gym, the young hipster wearing a designer tee shirt. We are members of the same club. There is eye contact, recognition, an almost smile or awkward “happy Ash Wednesday.”
But this is not a happy time. The mark of the cross is meant to stand in for our torn garments, our sackcloths of atonement (imagine wearing that to work today!). It is an outward symbol of our inward commitment to repentance.
Lent begins again, this time on the secular chocolate fest of Valentines Day! Let us commit ourselves to repentance, to kinship, to rending out hearts open to the beauty of God’s creation and embracing our duty to protect the climate, each other and the future.
We return to you, oh God.