February 4th, 2018
Season of Lent
Is the season of Lent relevant for the 21st century? We are so automated, so busy; why do we need Lenten observances? Prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the three themes of Lent, are actually a welcome change to our routine life.
Prayer helps us to commune with the Almighty. We all experience limitations in our lives – sickness, pain, grief, suffering. Prayer moves us beyond our limitation and touches the unlimited. Find strength and courage, joy and happiness and experience “nirvana” (liberation). Well, prayer is worth the time, worth the effort, so why not try to pray more during this season of Lent!
Almsgiving or charity is a hallmark of our Christian faith. Every Christian by his/her baptism has a duty to be charitable. It part of a realization of who we are. We have all received much, or rather, all that we have is a gift. We are merely stewards of God’s gift. Am I a good steward administering the gifts properly? Do I share my gifts and talents? Lent is time to make changes that a need for me. God loves a cheerful giver!
Fasting may not be pleasant to some people. It primarily means giving up some food as a sacrifice. There are people who give up certain food on doctor’s orders. During Lent I fast because I want to do it. It is almost like the man who gave up his lifejacket on a sinking ship because there were not enough lifejackets for all! Moreover, fasting is not just about food alone. If you are able to kick some bad habits (alcoholism, smoking, internet pornography, using curse words, impatience, etc.) that too is a form of fasting. Maybe fasting is good for our body and our soul.
Do you love Lent? I suppose many people will be reluctant to say yes. Maybe we should ask this question again and we may be surprised by our own answers!
Apps and Resources for Lent
Nearly everyone uses Smartphones. Our smartphones can be obstacle to prayer and spiritual life. However, during this Lent, our phones can help us to pray as well. They can inspire us to prayer, penance and almsgiving. Listed below are some of the Catholic apps for Lent.
Laudate (Free): It is one of the most downloaded free Catholic apps. It has everything that a Catholic could want: Mass, prayers, Bible, Vatican II documents, Catechism, rosary, lives of saints, etc. You can also bookmark your favorite prayers here.
Catholic TV (Free): Help us to stay on top of Catholic news.
RC Buddy (Free): It contains prayers, readings of the day, Rosary and liturgy of the hours.
Xt3 Lent Calendar ($1.99): It contains much of what you need to make the most of every day in Lent. It contains daily readings, ideas for penance, inspiration quotes and important feast days.
Stations of the Cross Walk with Me ($1.99): It is sold by Daughters of Saint Paul. It is ideal for helping you fit the Stations of the Cross into your daily life.
Catholic Meditations for Lent ($2.99): It contains 63 meditations for Lent. It has a free trial version.
— Father Augustine