Friday 11 April 2014

Readings for Friday 11 April 2014
Jer 20:10-13. ps 17:2-7, R/ cf v 7. jn 10:31-42.

Today we remember Saint Stanislaus who became Bishop of Krakow in 1072.

keeping a holy lent

Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014
“He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich (cf. 2 Cor 8:9)”

By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says “that by his poverty you might become rich“. This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8), that he is “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2).”

To read the full text of Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2014 please click here

Pope on Twitter

Pope Francis on Twitter
“We need to rediscover a contemplative spirit, so that the love of God may warm our heartspope francis .”

Follow Pope Francis on Twitter @Pontifex.

Friday Penance During Lent

fasting 2

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.

Stations of the Cross

cross of christ 5

Click here for the Stations of the Cross with Father Paul Clayton Lea from the Archdiocese of Armagh.

The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

stations of the cross for our times

We Remember the Cross of Jesus:

Jesus was led away carrying the
cross by himself. A cross is not
just a piece of wood, it is
everything that makes life
difficult. Jesus carried the crosses
of his life without complaint, as a
poor person and as an itinerant
prophet. In the calm and
courageous way, he put up with
the threats of the Pharisees and
the lack of understanding of his own
disciples. In the way that he carried all the burdens of his
life but, in particular, the way in which he carries this awful,
final burden, he transforms the cross from a symbol of
condemnation into one of liberation.

We Name the Crosses of Today:

There are burdens that we all carry, some are very
obvious and others we take great care to hide. There are the
burdens of illness, pain and disability, of old age,
dependence, and caring for someone who no longer knows
who we are. There are the burdens of constant fear, of
loneliness and of isolation. The invitation of Jesus on the
cross is to hand over these burdens to him.

We Pray:

May we see your presence Lord in all the burdens we carry
today. Help us to share our burdens more freely, not to be
afraid to acknowledge our fears and our pain. May we be
more aware of the crosses that others bear and make time
to alleviate their burden. May your face shine on each one of
us through the crosses we bear.

(Taken from the Stations of the Cross for Our Times) 

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.

To find out more about Trócaire’s Lenten campaign click here and please bring home a Trócaire box this Lent.

Lent trocaire box image

Daily Lenten Prayer
(i) ‘Give me this water so that I may be thirsty.’
We pray for those in our world who thirst for their basic human rights. We ask for courage Lord to play our part in having people’s basic needs met, and their dignity restored.

Jesus in the desert

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

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 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.

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.