Being approximately 99% Polish (according to Ancestry.com), I have always taken a special interest in prominent Polish figures throughout history. One of my favorites is the famous 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who was the first to propose a model that showed that the planets orbit the sun rather than the earth, as was previously believed. Inspired by his work, the phrase “Copernican revolution” has become commonplace for describing someone who needs to be less self-centered. […]
As kids, most of us dream of finding a buried treasure, something of great value. We use the word values to refer to those beliefs and principles that we believe are most important for guiding the way we live and work and treat ourselves and others. Lent is a great time to reflect on our values and to reshape them so that we truly treasure, or value, that which God treasures and values most. In this […]
Just as the magnetized needle of a compass is naturally drawn to face north (the Earth’s magnetic pole), each of us is naturally drawn toward God. However, throughout the year, our attention is drawn by other things. Lent is a time for us to “turn around” and to once again allow ourselves to be drawn to God. Through praying, fasting, and giving alms, we focus our attention on God, to whom we are naturally drawn. […]
You know what it’s like to have a mosquito bite that you want so badly to scratch! Of course, the more you scratch, the more it itches and, eventually, you risk breaking the skin. It’s not easy to avoid the temptation to scratch such an itch. Similarly, in life, we sometimes grow restless or “develop an itch” that we are tempted to scratch in a variety of ways, not all of them healthy. These temptations […]
Sometimes the young people surprise me. Such was the case at the beginning of Lent, when I led a session on the season that focused on Christ’s temptation in the desert. I asked the young people what they already knew about Lent. An informal assessment of their previous knowledge, the question gave the students an opportunity to tell me things such as the season was 40 days and that they got ashes on Ash Wednesday. […]
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, so we’ll take all the children in the religious education program to church for Mass. It’s the same Mass the full parish is invited to, and it’s usually crowded. By taking the children to this Mass, we emphasize that not only is Ash Wednesday something special, but that we are part of a parish community. Because of the Mass, we don’t have a class session this week to discuss Lent; we had […]
Cyndi from Louisville, KY, shares the following. Great job, Cyndi! Hi Joe Just wanted to share how our Sunday Religious Program has used one of your 40 ideas for Lent. We took the Declaration of Dependence you proposed for the class and expanded it to be for the entire program and all the families. At our Lenten Family Day we baked Pretzels (also one of your ideas) and while the pretzels were baking every person […]
It’s that time once again! The Lenten season is just one month away! To help you with your planning, I’m once again providing my popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days. Let me know which activities you chose to do, how you did them (adding your own twists) and how things turned out! In addition, here are lots more Lenten resources from Loyola Press. And don’t forget my list of Lenten resources for small faith groups!
As Lent approaches, many parishes and college campuses look to form small faith groups so that people can share the journey of Lent together. Here are some great resources for small faith groups from Loyola Press that I recommend: Online Lenten Opportunities for Small Groups Arts & Faith: Lent – A visual prayer experience for Lent. Each week provides a video commentary about a work of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. The Ignatian Workout for Lent: […]
On this Feast Day of St. Joseph, my patron saint, let’s take a moment to reflect on his quiet nature and how fitting that is for the Lenten season! Here is my post from a couple of years ago on St. Joseph along with an activity from my 40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent. Happy Feast Day to all the Joe’s out there!