E-BOOKLET VERSION: Witnesses on the Way: Reflections for Lent 2023
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This year’s Lent booklet features reflections for Sundays and Holy Days from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday written by Charlene and Michael Howard. Charlene is the National Council Chair of Pax Christi USA and Michael is the founder of Eat The Scroll Ministries
. (Michael's reflections for each Sunday include brief reflections on the six African American Catholics who are on the path to sainthood.) Reflections for different weekdays throughout Lent are offered from new Ambassadors of Peace Sr. Pegge Boehm, PBVM; Pearlette Springer, Ph.D.; Kathy O'Leary; Mary Hanna; and Sr. Jane Morrissey, SSJ; among others. These Lenten reflections address the individual and communal, the spiritual and the practical, and serve as guides to this season that combines the call for both personal and social transformation. Walking with these authors is like pulling up a chair to engage with stories both new and familiar, to learn things not even guessed at and to have your deepest instincts about following Jesus on the way of peace and nonviolence validated and affirmed.
NOTE: Pre-orders will take place between January 18 and February 1, with shipments beginning on February 2. A special pre-order price of $4 for each booklet is offered (regular price post Feb. 1 will be $5). Bulk discounts are available for orders of 10-99 (10% discount) and 100+ (30% discount). Order your copies now for yourself, your parish, religious community, ministry, school, and family to assure reception in time for Ash Wednesday, February 22nd.
EXCERPT: From Ash Wednesday, Charlene Howard writes:
In today’s scripture, the message that begins our Lenten journey emphasizes the importance of seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness as an urgent priority. We know we strive to live the life God requires, but our tendency to sin is still in us. Despite knowing that salvation in Jesus’ Paschal Mystery is coming, we easily act in selfish, angry ways. We must internalize Christ’s love as a tangible power source to motivate us to live as God wants us to. Embracing this to its fullest should be our motivation to change our violent, negative responses to ones that are more generous, effective, proactive, and productive at problem-solving and conflict resolution...
From the fourth Sunday of Lent, Michael Howard writes:
In 1834 Henriette DeLille experienced a profound conversion that cemented her call to vocation. After joining a religious community, she said, “I believe in God. I hope in God. I love. I want to live and die for God.” She would later write the Rule of Life for the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Henriette, now Venerable Sr. Henriette DeLille, used for the order this motto, “One heart, one soul.”
Let’s avoid language that makes distinctions. Whether it’s the language that comes through racial rhetoric or the insensitive individuals who define one’s disability as a sin, we must see the glory of God in all of creation. Jesus said, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him” (Jn 9:3). And this is what Sr. Henriette sought to do, “bring back glory to God and the salvation of their neighbor by a charitable and edifying behavior.” God’s work is made visible not because of someone’s gender, physical ability, or skin color. God’s work is visual because we know Jesus, The Light of the World.