Lenten Retreat

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Lenten Reflections that will prepare us for Easter Celebration

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Lenten Retreat

  1. 1. The Lenten Retreat <ul><li>Retreat or Recollection </li></ul><ul><li>Is characterized by 3Rs: </li></ul><ul><li>REST </li></ul><ul><li>REFLECT </li></ul><ul><li>RENEW </li></ul>
  2. 2. The Season of Lent <ul><li>WHAT IS LENT? </li></ul><ul><li>The word Lent refers to the forty </li></ul><ul><li>days' fast preceding Easter. It has </li></ul><ul><li>been used to mean the more </li></ul><ul><li>significant Latin term </li></ul><ul><li>quadragesima (Italian quaresima, </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish cuaresma ), meaning the </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;forty days&quot;,or more literally the </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;fortieth day&quot;. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Significance of Forty <ul><li>The origins of Lent can be </li></ul><ul><li>traced back to the footsteps </li></ul><ul><li>of Jesus, who spent 40 days in </li></ul><ul><li>the wilderness, facing </li></ul><ul><li>temptations from Satan that </li></ul><ul><li>could lead him to abandon his </li></ul><ul><li>mission and calling. Jesus </li></ul><ul><li>overcame the devil's </li></ul><ul><li>temptations through fasting and </li></ul><ul><li>prayers. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Significance of Forty <ul><li>Forty is also a significant number </li></ul><ul><li>throughout Judeo- Christian </li></ul><ul><li>tradition. The Israelites spent forty </li></ul><ul><li>years wandering in the desert after </li></ul><ul><li>escaping slavery in Egypt before </li></ul><ul><li>they entered the Promised Land. </li></ul><ul><li>During their sojourn, Moses </li></ul><ul><li>received the Ten Commandments </li></ul><ul><li>on Mount Sinai - but only after he </li></ul><ul><li>spent 40 days alone on the </li></ul><ul><li>mountain. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Significance of Forty <ul><li>In the Book of Jonah, the </li></ul><ul><li>prophet gave the evil-doers of </li></ul><ul><li>Nineveh forty days to repent their </li></ul><ul><li>sins before God would destroy </li></ul><ul><li>them. </li></ul><ul><li>Likewise, sins led God to bring </li></ul><ul><li>the great flood of forty days and </li></ul><ul><li>forty nights, which Noah, his </li></ul><ul><li>family and his fleet of paired </li></ul><ul><li>animals survived on an ark. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Season of Lent Lent has traditionally been marked by penitential prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
  7. 7. PRAYER “ Prayer is the lifting up of mind and heart to God” – St. Teresa of Avila “ Prayer is a partnership and union with God. It does not mean the prayer of outward observance, but prayer from the heart, not confined to fixed times or periods but continuous throughout the day and night” – St. John Chrysostom
  8. 8. PRAYER <ul><li>Prayer can include: </li></ul><ul><li>Taking part in a Eucharist every day (if possible). </li></ul><ul><li>Setting aside a short period for meditation or reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Do some Bible reading or study ( lectio divina ) </li></ul><ul><li>Praying the Station of the Cross ( Via Crucis ) and the Rosary </li></ul><ul><li>If an Internet surfer, visit a website that offers lenten prayers and reflections </li></ul>
  9. 9. FASTING “ The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives” (Is. 58: 6-7).
  10. 10. FASTING <ul><li>Fasting can involve: </li></ul><ul><li>giving up some nice thing we do not really need, like sweets, chocolate, dessert, etc., even if we are over the age for fasting </li></ul><ul><li>Many can cut down on alcohol or nicotine or any other addictive substance , perhaps as part of a permanent giving up. It can help to motivate if we remember these things are not very good for us anyway. </li></ul>
  11. 11. ALMSGIVING <ul><li>The practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, is an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. It helps us to overcome the temptation of loving money, teaching us to respond to our neighbor’s needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness. </li></ul><ul><li>Almsgiving teaches us the generosity of love. </li></ul>
  12. 12. ALMSGIVING Almsgiving can be linked to fasting. Money saved from giving up superfluities may be redirected to helping those who do not have necessities for life. Why not take the money that would be spent on that fancy meal you decided to forego and give it to those who do not know where their next meal is coming from? If you have given up movies for Lent or any other indulgence, again let the money saved be diverted to the really needy.
  13. 13. Suggested Lenten Preparation for Easter 1. Lent is about turning back to God; God is always turned towards us and looking for contact and communication (“Turn to me and be saved”, Isaiah 45:22). 2. The Israelites in the desert were forgetful and had to be reminded by Moses about all the good things God had done for them ( Deut 26:1-11). We need to take time to remember how lucky we are, to consider what God has done for us and to appreciate the blessings that are ours.
  14. 14. 3. Reconciliation, or healing our life, is possible only through realizing that we are forgiven, even though we don’t deserve it. We can recall the story of the Prodigal Son, the classic Lenten text, in the light of God’s great love for us through Christ, his amazing love & self-gift. 4. Inevitably Lent involves commitment to change, through this free gift of God’s love; a conversion of heart and priorities that will mean decisions and doing things differently.
  15. 15. 5 . Easter Sunday will then take on its fuller meaning: that we have died with Christ on Good Friday to our ‘old selves’ and destructive ways, and have been ‘re-born’ on Easter Sunday with Christ to a new life in him. Easter always has strong echoes of Baptism for us as we touch the water, hear the words and celebrate with our communities.
  16. 16. In general, Lent is a time to become more aware of what life is about. Becoming more aware of how I want to use my life, my gifts, my education, becoming more aware of the needs of others and to realize that real fulfillment comes in making my contribution to building a more just society for all. Let us use this Lenten time in a really constructive way.

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