Readings for Friday 7 March 2014 (Friday after Ash Wednesday)
Is 58:1-9. Ps 50:3-6, 18-19, R/ v 19. Mt 9:14-15. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings
Christian fasting began as a voluntary practice, as a support to prayer, as penance for sin, as a way to save something for the poor, and as a way to prepare for a feast. It was a suitable practice to prepare for the celebration of Easter. The need for fasting is still there.
Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014
“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.” – Pope Francis.
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014 please click here.
Resources on the Vatican website for Lent 2014
The Vatican is collating all the resources for Lent 2014 on a special link on the home page of www.vatican.va. It includes the catechesis, addresses and homilies of the Holy Father, information on liturgical events and video and other multimedia content. Click here to access it.
Archbishop Eamon Martin on Twitter: “One small step each day, with the Holy Spirit by my side, I can become a better person.”
Follow Archbishop Eamon on Twitter at @ArchbishopEamon.
Penance arises from the Lord’s call to conversion and repentance and is an essential part of all genuine Christian living:
- in memory of the passion and death of the Lord
- as a sharing in Christ’s suffering
- as an expression of inner conversion
- as a form of reparation for sin
Declaring some days throughout the year as days of fast and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) is meant to intensify penances of the Christian. Lent is the traditional season for renewal and penance but Catholics also observe each Friday of the year as days of penance. The link between Friday and penance is extremely ancient and is even reflected in the Irish word for Friday – An Aoine (the fast).”
Some suggestions on observing Friday Penance during Lent are:
(i) Make a special effort at family prayer
(ii) Make the Stations of the Cross
(iii) Do something to help the poor, sick or lonely
(iv) Make a special effort to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
(v) Abstain from meat or some other food.
Theme of Trócaire’s Lenten Campaign 2014 – ‘Water’
This year’s Trócaire Lenten campaign is about the global water crisis. There are 1.1 billion people in our world who are living without access to a reliable source of water.
Watch this video to find out about Trócaire’s gift of water.
To find out more about Trócaire’s Lenten campaign visit www.trocaire.ie/lent and please bring home a Trócaire box this Lent.
Daily Lenten Prayer
I know how much you love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes,
but I know your love is always with me.
Help me to use your love as a way
to persevere in my Lenten intentions.
I am weak, but I know with your help,
I can use these small sacrifices in my life to draw closer to you.
Pope Francis Prayer intention tweeted on 6 March 2014
Let us pray for Christians who are victims of persecution, so that they may know how to respond to evil with good.
Sacred Space Online Prayer
Sacred Space invites you to make a ‘Sacred Space’ in your day, praying here and now, as you visit their website, with the help of scripture chosen every day and on-screen guidance. For more information see www.sacredspace.ie
Kildare and Leighlin Resources for Lent 2014
- Lent and Easter resources for Primary School. Click here to order this resource.
- Scripture Sharing for Lent 2014. Click here to order this resource.
Services and Events for Lent 2014
The Meaning of Lent
The English word ‘Lent’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Lencten, meaning ‘Spring’. In other languages the word comes from the Latin, Quadragesima – a period of 40 days. In the Christian tradition the forty days is understood to refer to a time of intense prayer and preparation; we remember the biblical stories of Noah and the flood of 40 days, the forty years the Israelites spent wandering in the wilderness and Christ’s forty day fast in the desert in preparation for his earthly ministry.