Lent

Hope in the Ashes

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

On Saturday, I retrieved last year’s palm fronds from behind “The Lady with a Light,” a picture that a friend gave me many years ago.

Then I gathered an aluminum pie pan and some matches to take to the back porch where I burned the palm branches, hoping the wind would cooperate and not blow the ashes, pie tin and matches away.

While the Soulard neighborhood, St. Louis’ own French Quarter, hosted a raucous Mardi Gras parade and party, I shivered on the back porch, thinking about spring and what to plant in the back yard.

The Forgotten Brothers We Knew

By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

My parish community has witnessed a difficult yet strangely grace-filled Lent at our Saint Vincent de Paul Church in St. Louis, a haven for the homeless and forgotten brothers and sisters of Jesus the Christ.

Three weeks ago, Gary, one of the guests at our meals program, died of a heart attack at the entrance to the church.

Last week, Ben, another regular guest at evening meals, who also receives free clothing and bagged lunches, died of prolonged and acute alcoholism.

Although the local news did not report their deaths,

Lenten Twist: It’s Not About Me

By Sister Krystal Funk, ASC

As a musician who’s pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy, I naturally turned to music and song for insights into how I might spend my Lent.

In my research, I fell upon the song, “Beautiful Things,” by Gungor, which seems relevant for the Lenten season.

It says, in part:

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?

A Plan for Lent

By Sister Maria Hughes, ASC

Today, we begin the Season of Lent, a holy time marked by prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These three traditional disciplines are paths to greater balance and wholeness in our spiritual lives.  While thinking about this season, I came across a little reflection by Jerry Welte about these three disciplines.

Here are his thoughts for Lenten practice, first published in “Words of Grace, Daily Reflections & Prayers for Catholics.”

Prayer:

  • Balance your spiritual life by integrating the body, mind and soul in your prayer life.

Lenten Journeys: #CarbonFast2016

By Sister M. Alan Wurth, ASC

Catholics of a certain age will remember abstaining from meat on Fridays throughout the year, but today the rule applies only to Fridays of Lent, hence, the plethora of Lenten fish fries. The discipline of fast and abstinence remains, however, and is universal, not restricted to Catholics.

The Anglican Communion Environmental Network adds a twist to the Lenten fast by encouraging people to fast from carbon, or at least to reduce carbon use during the holy season of Lent. Who knows? The Lenten discipline may create a new lifestyle and enrich our spiritual life.