d) Lent — Giving, Fasting, Praying

Lent: Prayer Fasting Giving(works of love)

First, Here Are The Top Quotes At-A-Glance:
“Lent — Giving, Fasting, Praying”

(See Further Down the Page for the Full Quotes.)

  1. Lent is a time of renewal for the whole church, for each community, and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace.” (Pope Francis)
  2. During this Lent let us all ask the Lord: “Make our hearts like yours.” (Pope Francis)
  3. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial. (Pope Francis)
  4. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. (Pope Francis)
  5. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt. (Pope Francis)
  6. Lent is the most important time of the year to nurture our inner life. (Henri Nouwen)
  7. True repentance is an inner attitude in which we are willing to let go of everything that prevents us from growing into spiritual maturity. (Henri Nouwen)
  8. It is a time of listening to the voice within, but also a time of paying attention to other people’s needs. (Henri Nouwen)
  9. There is hardly a moment in our lives in which we are not invited to detach ourselves from certain ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of acting, that for a long time gave us energy, but that always again need to be renewed and recreated. (Henri Nouwen)
  10. Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now. (Sr Joan Chittister)
  11. Lent is a moment of spiritual battle waged by the whole Church and all its members, in order to identify and to turn away from those idols which day by day, year by year and generation after generation, so easily seduce us and alienate us from the message of the Gospel. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  12. Jesus is tempted to turn away from obedience to his Father and to live and work for himself alone, leaving aside communion with God. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  13. The weapon which Jesus proclaims for this battle with evil is the Word of God. In responding to Satan, Jesus does not enter into a debate about detail or particulars in responding to Satan. Jesus’ aim is not winning points in a debate. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  14. Lent is about new beginning. It is about all of us changing the direction of our lives. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  15. It is about allowing Jesus Christ to come into our lives and change our hearts and overcome the false idols. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  16. We have to seek a life of greater simplicity, detached from what is not essential and not true or good in our lives. (Archbishop Diarmuid Martin)
  17. By loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. (Pope Francis)
  18. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing. (Pope Francis)
  19. If we think we don’t need God who reaches out to us through Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us. … wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. (Pope Francis)
  20. Imitate Christ. (Pope Francis)
  21. When you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration.
    … When you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you… When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. (Jesus)

(Note for teachers: you might find this 5-minute cartoon video useful to illustrate the humanity of Jesus and the temptations he faced while in the desert.)(The 3 Gospel accounts of Jesus in the desert are: Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-15, and Luke 4:1-13.)

Lent Jesus in Desert with Devil (collection called 40 by Si Smith)(see proost dot com)

And Now The Quotes in Full, and A Few More Too:

“Lent — Giving, Fasting, Praying”

 

“Lent is a time of renewal for the whole church, for each community, and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace.”…

Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront…

I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart. A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God….

During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Make our hearts like yours.” In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.”

—Pope Francis in his 2015 Lenten Message, as published by the Vatican website

“Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.

May the Holy Spirit… sustain us in our resolutions and increase our concern and responsibility for human destitution, so that we can become merciful and act with mercy. In expressing this hope, I likewise pray that each individual member of the faithful and every Church community will undertake a fruitful Lenten journey. ”

— Pope Francis in his 2014 Lenten Message as published by the Vatican website

“Lent is the most important time of the year to nurture our inner life.

It is the time during which we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also the death and resurrection that constantly takes place within us. Life is a continuous process of the death of the old and the familiar, and being reborn again into a new hope, a new trust and a new love.

The death and resurrection of Jesus therefore is not just an historical event that took place a long time ago, but an inner event that takes place in our own heart when we are willing to be attentive to it.

True repentance is an inner attitude in which we are willing to let go of everything that prevents us from growing into spiritual maturity, and there is hardly a moment in our lives in which we are not invited to detach ourselves from certain ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of acting, that for a long time gave us energy, but that always again need to be renewed and recreated.

Lent offers us a beautiful opportunity to discover the mystery of Christ within us. It is a gentle but also a demanding time. It is a time of solitude but also community. It is a time of listening to the voice within, but also a time of paying attention to other people’s needs. It is a time to continuously make the passage to new inner life as well as to life with those around us.”

Henri J.M. Nouwen, September 1996 in his Introduction to the booklet ‘Called to Life, Called to Love,’ published by Creative Communications for the Parish. The booklet is full of selected writings of Nouwen’s, “one of the greatest spiritual writers of our time.”

“Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now. Lent is a summons to live anew….

Lent is the time to let life in again… If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again.”

— Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, in a column in the Huffington Post in 2011 entitled ‘Ash Wednesday and Lent: Beginning Again Always’

“The season of Lent is a moment of grace offered to the entire Christian community to convert, to return to God. Lent is just not about individual acts of penance; it is not a sort of a Christian version of New Year’s resolutions. Lent is a moment of spiritual battle waged by the whole Church and all its members, in order to identify and to turn away from those idols which day by day, year by year and generation after generation, so easily seduce us and alienate us from the message of the Gospel.

Jesus is tempted at the moment in which he embarks on the mission he has received from his Father. The forces of evil challenge him at that precise moment. The individual temptations are about turning stones into bread, about possessing all the kingdoms of the earth, about throwing himself down in order to be dramatically saved by angels. Each of these temptations, however, is fundamentally about the same thing: Jesus is tempted to turn away from obedience to his Father and to live and work for himself alone, leaving aside communion with God.

Jesus is tempted and he responds to these temptations through an attitude of radical obedience to God and to his own calling. The weapon which Jesus proclaims for this battle with evil is the Word of God. In responding to Satan, Jesus does not enter into a debate about detail or particulars in responding to Satan. Jesus’ aim is not winning points in a debate. His answers are all taken from the word of God.

The battle between good and evil continues in the hearts of each one of us still today. It is the same fundamental temptation to act just on our own without God. It is the temptation into which today many people fall, not so much through a blatant rejection of God, but through an indifference and through a routine of life in which God gradually begins to play more and more only a marginal place.

…. Lent is about new beginning. It is about all of us changing the direction of our lives. It is about each of responding with total integrity to the specific vocation to which we are called in life and in the Church. It is about allowing Jesus Christ to come into our lives and change our hearts and overcome the false idols which can easily find their way into the very crevices of the fabric of our hearts. We have to seek a life of greater simplicity, detached from what is not essential and not true or good in our lives. We have to die to what is false in our lives so that we can rise with Jesus to new life.”

— Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, in his homily Sunday 17th February 2013 at the Rite of Chrisitian Initiation of Adults in St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, as posted on the dublindiocese.ie website

“Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

‘And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

‘When you fast do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they pull long faces to let men know they are fasting. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.’”

— Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (6: 1-6. 16-18), Jerusalem Bible version, the Gospel reading for Ash Wednesday 2015

NOTE: The following extract from Pope Francis’s Lenten Message talks of three types of ‘destitution’, which relate directly to the three traditional Lenten ideas of giving, fasting, and praying.

“In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it.

Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.

No less a concern is moral destitution, which consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of their members – often a young person – is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography! How many people no longer see meaning in life or prospects for the future, how many have lost hope! And how many are plunged into this destitution by unjust social conditions, by unemployment, which takes away their dignity as breadwinners, and by lack of equal access to education and health care. In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide. This type of destitution, which also causes financial ruin, is invariably linked to the spiritual destitution which we experience when we turn away from God and reject his love. If we think we don’t need God who reaches out to us through Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us.

The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep. In union with Jesus, we can courageously open up new paths of evangelization and human promotion.

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ.”

— Pope Francis in his 2014 Lenten Message as published by the Vatican website

 

For You: Pages on This Website Most Connected To This Page…

  1. Jesus—Easter and Resurrection
  2. Poverty and Property
  3. Some Prayers
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