Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spend Lent with Pope Francis, St. Teresa of Calcutta, or St. Faustina

Lent starts next week! It is definitely time to choose a Lenten Resource to help guide you on your spiritual journey over the next six weeks. Here are three new ones that have recently crossed my desk:

The first is The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane Houdek. In the Introduction, Houdek writes, "Lent is a time to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary, to be surprised by God's mercy when we least expect it. As the season begins, think about the hopes you have for Lent this year. Think about what changes you want to see in your life, in the world. Let the words of Pope Francis guide you on a journey of bringing those hopes to fulfillment,"

This book is able to be used any liturgical year. Each day features a listing of the Scripture readings for that day. This is followed by a quote from Pope Francis and a reflection from Houdek that considers both the Scripture reading and the Pope's teaching. Reflection questions and a prayer from Pope Francis end the day's entry.

Pope Francis' very practical life-based theology resonates on every page of this book. Combined with Houdek's reflections, it offers much food for thought.

The second is Lent with Saint Teresa of Calcutta: Daily Meditations by Heidi Hess Saxton. St. Teresa of Calcutta and her Missionaries of Charity offer such an example of selfless love, of seeing Jesus in everyone we meet. Saxton writes, "As we contemplate Scripture and the life and teachings of St. Teresa of Calcutta during this Lent, we have a daily inspiration and opportunity in spreading Christ's fragrance to others. And whatever the future holds - pain or healing, uncertainty or assurance, dismay or delight - we can anticipate with great joy the glory of the Risen Christ at our journey's end."

This book is able to be used any liturgical year and includes a listing of the Scripture readings for each day. A short Scripture quote is included which Saxton then offers a reflection on, including stories about St. Teresa and her sisters as well as from her own life and experience. This is followed by reflection questions and a prayer.

St. Teresa and Saxton invite us to minister directly to those around us, to serve others, and to love until it hurts. Putting the teachings of this book into practice will help you cultivate a generous heart.

Third is Moments of Mercy by the Marian Fathers. This is a booklet perfect for carrying in your purse. Each day features a Scripture quote, a reflection, a prayer, and suggestions for further reading from Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Diary of St. Faustina. An appendix includes St. Faustina's Way of the Cross, an Examination of Conscience, The Novena to Divine Mercy, and The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This book is intended for use only during 2017. Available for purchase at the Marian website: http://www.shopmercy.org/Moments-of-Mercy/LD17/itd/07090013/110/157/NO

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