Lenten Disciples: The Woman at the Well

In the Scriptures, we see examples of disciples at different stages of their journeys. For the next few weeks of Lent, we will explore three different encounters with Jesus and what these encounters tell us about discipleship. We will focus first on perhaps one of the best-known stories in the Bible: Jesus and the woman of Samaria (John 4:1–42). In this story, Jesus approaches a Samaritan woman and strikes up a conversation with her at […]

Lent: Helping People to Live Differently

Many advertisements not only entice us to purchase a product, but they also invite us to prioritize our lives around an idea. Some of the best examples of this are diet plans, which are no longer just about losing a few pounds but adopting a new lifestyle. When I stroll into the kitchen at Loyola Press during lunchtime, I see various coworkers meticulously preparing their dishes according to the philosophy and strategy of whatever plan […]

Lent Is a Time to “Name the Sin” Without Dwelling On It

Catholics have a reputation for dwelling on sin. “Catholic guilt” is a phrase that many of us are all-too-familiar with. In recent decades, however, there has been a shift away from focusing on sin and avoiding heaping guilt on people. While well-intended (Guilt can indeed be paralyzing for some people.), this shift has resulted in a lack of understanding about the importance of “naming the sin.” In 12-step groups, it is taught that confronting and […]

A Prayer for Fasting

Loving Father, your Son, Jesus, was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. There, he learned to rely on you and not on bread alone. May the same Holy Spirit guide me as I enter into this experience of fasting. May this fast remind me of my complete dependence on you and your grace. May it unite me in solidarity with those who suffer from […]

Lent: Learning to Throw a Change-Up to Keep the Enemy Off-Balance

The beginning of Lent often coincides with the beginning of spring training and the reporting of pitchers and catchers, so I can’t help but dip into my bag of sports metaphors to talk about Lent. Lent is an opportunity to step back from ordinary activities and to make some shifts in our approach to life in order to keep “the enemy” off-balance and to deepen our connection with God. It’s the spiritual equivalent of throwing […]

Celebrating Lent: A Season of Sobriety

While Lent is a season of preparation for Easter, right now, for catechetical ministers, is a season of preparation for Lent. With Ash Wednesday looming right around the corner, this is the “acceptable time” for catechetical ministers to be solidifying plans for celebrating the season of Lent with those you teach. That’s right, I said “celebrating!” Lent is not a somber time but a sober time, and achieving sobriety is something to celebrate! We human […]

Stations of the Cross Booklet

We pray the Stations of the Cross to live Jesus’ suffering in his Passion and the love given to him along the way. At each station we stop, pray, and reflect. To help you explore the Stations of the Cross with your group, download our free foldable booklet. The mini-book is designed to be printed on 8½” x 11” paper and includes spaces for children to draw their own pictures or symbols for the stations. […]

Poll: When Do You Celebrate Christmas with Your Faith Formation Group?

My wife taught for years at several different Catholic high schools, and she recalls how, in one school, the principal insisted that there be no Christmas decorations during Advent, while at another school, the principal wanted the school festooned with Christmas decorations so that visitors to open house could see them! As catechists, we want to celebrate Christmas with those in our faith formation groups; however, most often, we end up not seeing them for […]

Advent: A Reminder of How We Ought to Be

Every season and feast of the liturgical calendar serves as a reminder of how we “ought to be” as followers of Jesus Christ. The season of Advent, which is now upon us, reminds us that we are to be a people of hope—not to be confused with wishful thinking. I “hope” I win the lottery some day, but I have no confidence that will ever happen. Our hope in Jesus Christ is a confident hope—an […]

Advent Anticipation: A Poll Question

Years ago, there was a series of popular television commercials for a brand of ketchup, which showed people eagerly waiting for the thick ketchup to pour out of the tilted bottle and onto a burger while the refrain of Carly Simon’s hit song “Anticipation” rang out. The message was that anything good is worth waiting for. Advent is a season of anticipation. However, it’s about much more than anticipating the arrival of Christmas Day. It is […]

1 2 3 4 38