E-Version: The Beauty We Must Hold Fast To: Reflections for Lent 2022

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E-READER VERSION - The Beauty We Must Hold Fast To: Reflections for Lent 2022 - An all-new reflection book based on the daily liturgical readings for the entire season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Easter! Each reflection (as well as the photographs!) was written by a former Pax Christi USA General Secretary, National Coordinator or Executive Director (the title changed over time!). Some—like Joe Fahey, Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki and Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen—were there at the very birth of our movement. And their work was built on by Sr. Anne McCarthy, Jo Clarke, Nancy Small, Dave Robinson, Ron Cruz, Sr. Patty Chappell, and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau. Each of them brings a different facet of the commitment to peace and justice which lies at the heart of our faith. Taken together, they “weave threads of peace” into a tapestry that captures insights and challenges for people who would walk the way of Jesus, especially during Lent.  

The reflections in this booklet are all new, written specifically for today (with the exception of the week by Sr. Mary Evelyn who passed in 2014; we drew upon her words and writings to fashion reflections that address the moment in which we find ourselves in 2022).

Use this reflection booklet for individual reflection and prayer, with your families around the dinner table, in small groups, or within your religious community. This booklet is available in both a hard-copy print version or as an electronic download for your e-reader. 

NOTE FOR DOWNLOADING THE E-VERSION: After ordering and checking out, you'll receive an "Order Confirmation" at your email address that contains the link to download your e-booklet. It is after your "Order Summary" and the link reads "Click here to Download". Once you click on the link, another window will open. Click on the text link that says "Click here to download" and your file will download.   

From Palm/Passion Sunday, Sr. Anne McCarthy writes: "Jesus’ dramatic entry into Jerusalem on a colt is in direct contrast to the Roman leadership’s shows of military power. The massive, noisy procession into Jerusalem, the seat of the Roman government and center of religious ritual and authority, must have felt exhilarating, giving a taste of God’s reign. Caught up in the energy and emotion of the crowd, everyone can taste the promise of a new day. Today, our 'hosanna' chant is 'The people, united, will never be defeated; El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido!' We know the power of this energy to fuel the long, hard work that is to come.

"Yet in the midst of that intoxicating energy, Jesus stops, overcome with grief when he sees the city. Jesus weeps for the coming destruction and for the blindness of the people to the ways of peace. His tears are for the present, and the future he realizes is bleak. Surely powerlessness and despair are mixed in with his sadness. How often have we experienced that emotional soup? Without fake consolation or the false pretense of a happy ending, Jesus gives space to the painful, emotional experience..."

From the introduction, by Pax Christi USA Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch: "When I started as Pax Christi USA’s Executive Director in September 2019, I knew the legacy I was stepping into. Since I first became involved with Pax Christi USA in the early nineties, many of my mentors, the people whose witness and words have shaped and formed me, have been the people who led this organization from its founding. And every day since, my deepest hope is that those of us currently on staff and in leadership are doing right by their legacy, continuing to carry forth and embody the vision the authors of this booklet set for us starting back in 1972, and living up to all they accomplished during their time caretaking Pax Christi USA. The reflections in this booklet represent the full arc of our 50 years. Each reflection (as well as the photographs!) was written by a former Pax Christi USA General Secretary, National Coordinator or Executive Director..."

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