Tag Archives: Lent

A feeling in Lent

Often the feeling that takes me over these days of lent can better expressed in the words of St. Paul.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom. 7: 15) (NIV)

Lord Help me find Meaning in what I do!



Unfaithfulness is not a result of a momentary action/decision rather it is the result of a continuous wrong choices.


No one decides in fraction of second to be wrong or to do something wrong. It is always the result of constant thoughts and imagination.

Every wrong actions is made right by justification in passing of time;  though the action itself remains wrong forever. The moral degradation can help one to over come the guilt though it is not the right thing to do.

The point of turning back is open, in every moment and time. Provided one is ready to take a decision to be authentic in all what one does.

Spiritual Pride

I can do it, after all why can´t I improve upon my behaviour? It is very common that we take upon ourselves some personal practices during the season of lent to improve upon ourselves. Often these may be the same things (things that we do not like in ourselves, the bad habits) we are struggling with in our daily life to have a control over. But after few days of lent, the fact that we have succeeded in practicing what we had decided for last few days of lent should not be a reason for pride at all. For this pride (spiritual pride) can be worst than the action that we have denied at time.

Judge Yourself rather than Others

Today Holy Father explained why we need to Judge oneself (Click to Read)

He exhorted that to Judge oneself is a Christian Virtue, for we are all sinners

Just feel the same… often we are very harsh on judging the mistake of others but becomes very soft on ourselves. It is very difficult to work on oneself, I feel, even to deny some external things are elementary rather working on the habits of one´s life is really challenging. Its true we can fail, but the virtue is not in failing but in recommitting – recommitting to walk again in the path of virtue…

God help me to make this season of lent more meaningful . . .

LENT is not a spiritual exhibition.

As we stepped into Lent 2014, with ashes on our forehead, the Mass readings of Ash-wednesday, especially the Gospel seemed to have a new message for me. Yes, Lent calls us to Fasting, Praying and Almsgiving. Jesus is certainly not playing down the age-old practice of asceticism. However, he draws our attention to the vanity of fasting, praying and almsgiving prompted by an exhibitionist attitude. In Mathew’s Gospel,chapter 6, Jesus repeatedly uses the word “secret” as the necessary condition to receive rewards from the Lord. “Your Father, who sees you in secret will reward you”, Christian spirituality is essentially an “interior life”. ‘Secrecy’ and not publicity of our ascetism merits reward feom our heavenly Father. Jesus denounced every form of external activities and appearances of piety calling it ‘hypocrisy’ and comparing it to ‘whitewashed sepulchres’. Lent is not a 40-day spiritual exhibition of christian virtues. Lent then, is more about repentance and reconciliation through conversion of the heart (inner life) which alone will find us resurrecting in Jesus Christ, our Risen Saviour..

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Desire to know my ways, says the Lord

Is 58: 1-9

How do we fast? What for do we take up fast on ourselves? Do we ever think of the way or rather the way the Lord wants us to do things? How does the Lord expect us to fast?

Isaiah, however makes it clear that we need to fast not merely from food and drinks and live a life unworthy of God’s Call. Rather we need to testify our fast in our actions and dealings with the Other. The renunciation of the body should help us to control our undue desires and the reactions. Our fasting is meaningless if it is done for the selfish motives. It is not valid if it does not become a source of support to the poor and needy.

God values attitudinal change rather than forced renunciation of something. However we need to acknowledge that the traditional understanding of fasting has its relevance and value.

Beyond the Great Lenten Facebook Fast

I thought some of these ideas of sacrifice during the season of lent would be nice and worth… 

Lent is about recommitting to prayer, fasting so as to make room for God and almsgiving to relearn self-giving love — and for many of us, the biggest obstacle to prayer is social media, the biggest time-waster (and stressor) is our phone and computer, and the location of our frivolous, self-centered spending has moved online.

So as so many Catholics gear up to turn off Facebook for Lent here  are some more nuanced ideas for what to give up for Lent (as previously published at Catholic Vote).

1. Moderation instead of fasting on Facebook.

Every Lent sees a mass Catholic exodus from Facebook. I like this; I have done this. It may be just what you need to make your Lent more focused on God. But if I have learned anything in the spiritual life it is that it is harder to have a little cake than no cake, it is easier to control your environment than to control yourself … and moderation can be as great a sacrifice as fasting. Instead of no Facebook time, why not a set Facebook time? Sunday afternoon?  Saturday morning? Thursday evening?  Then you might just form a new habit, instead of following a forty-day fast with a 320-day binge.

2. Turn off your phone.

I was struck by a Facebook status update from Brendan Vogt:  “Leaving your phone at home on purpose when you hang out with someone is the new way to show them you care about them.” For Lent, why not sacrifice the phone at key events: When you spend time with your children, in business meetings, with your date, with your spouse, and, heck, when you are waiting somewhere and in a position to meet new people?

3. Use paper in church.

There are some great apps that aid prayer and provide liturgical readings. I love them, use them frequently, and even take them to my Holy Hour. They are great, as long as they don’t lead the user to start clicking on the e-mails and texts and Tweets and notifications that light up our phones. It may not even take that: I have found myself sitting in an adoration chapel idly surfing the Internet from habit before realizing how I was behaving in the presence of God and apologizing profusely. You’re better off with the phone off, alone with a prayer book and the Blessed Sacrament, the Great App that accomplishes what it signifies.

4. Choose group entertainment.

The evolution of isolating entertainment went something like this:

First, we sat connecting with each other over conversation on porches and at card tables. Then we stopped talking and winked at each other as we listened to the family radio. Then we were silent and unaware of each other in the glow of the television. Then we were sitting alone in separate rooms looking at individual laptop screens. Now we are alone all over town, with earbuds and screens of our own. Don’t let this happen in your life! This Lent, ban Netflix unless a family or a group is watching; play music that everyone can agree on through good old fashioned speakers … and reclaim togetherness!

5. Uproot your ear buds.

The Rule of St. Benedict says every guest should be treated as Jesus Christ, and as Benedictine College’s president likes to point out, “If you met Jesus Christ wouldn’t you take your ear buds out?” Do so. Interact with other people this Lent — and wean yourself of the need to have a soundtrack accompanying your every move.

6. Give up video games.

The Hoopeses have experimented with video games over the years with our nine children, and we have always disliked the results. The boys especially become obsessed, sullen, less helpful, and too focused on entertainment.  We know families who have used Wii and other systems constructively to encourage children to interact with each other, but we decided it is better to encourage our children to find entertainment in the real world and in each other. We have been delighted by the results. Why not give up virtual reality for Lent? Real reality is a subtler pleasure … but it has much to recommend it, once you reacquire the taste for it.

7.  Unplug the Internet. 

Why not simply unplug the Internet during certain hours of each day? That way you will have to rediscover the world that exists outside your screen. (By the way, if you haven’t done so yet, filter your Internet the first week of Lent. Web filters are not just for kids — with the proliferation of pornography, adults need extra help in making choices, too. You can find Internet content filters online in three basic kinds: Filtering software; hardware filters at your router; and Internet proxy filters from your provider.  Look them up and get it done. We use the free OpenDNS.com filter software.)

8. Give up your extra technology for Lent.

Here is a revolutionary idea: Maybe you should only have as much technology as your job, or state in life, demands. Why do teens need smart phones? Why not have a family laptop? Why not resist a little to the tendency to wire everybody into a different frequency? Use Lent as an experiment in simplicity. Our kids have minimal (old, cheap) iPods … and if they want to hear music, they play it out loud so we can all share in the fun or the shame of it. We also try to follow the best practices for Internet responsibility: Everybody should use one centrally located charging station, where you can see everyone’s machine from an hour before bedtime until an hour after wake time.

9. Read real books for Lent.

Paper with words on it has changed lives before and can change yours. “The value of reading is best demonstrated by noting the ill effects of its absence in the lives of those who give themselves to idleness and fantasy,” said one wise monk. “We need space to step back from issues to assess their significance more surely.” Real reading is the opposite of Twitter … it immerses us in ideas where we can take our time to sort out what is being said in the privacy of our thoughts.

10. Call people.

So, to end all of this advice against technology, I would recommend a piece of technology: Your telephone. Disembodied voices aren’t quite as intimate as one-on-one conversation, but they are a lot better than disembodied thumbs. Why not commit to three real-person-encounters each week in Lent. I plan to do so. Maybe on a land-line with an extra long curly cord that stretches from the handset to the wall …

By Tom Hoopes


With a broken heart I come before you o Lord

“Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting and weeping and morning. Rend you hearts not your garments, and return to the Lord your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.” (Jl. 2: 12-13)

Reflection: Lord does not want you to rend your cloths, rather he wanted you to rend your hearts- come to me with a broken heart. There is no meaning in doing some penance because the others are doing it, or for the sake of the same. Rather each action/moment of denying something must touch our heart. So each one looking into one’s life should be able to decide what one needs to take as a penance to detach himself form this world and to attach to the Lord.

Rend your Hearts, Not your Garments…

Jl 2: 12-18

Dear Lord in real repentance we come before you, we pray that you may change our ways of thinking and doing for the kingdom of heaven.

Lord exhorts us to return to him from our ways of selfishness, with whole heart, with fasting, and weeping and mourning. However, Lord does not expect a customary practice for the sake of the same. Rather each one is called to reflect on one’s on life to see what he or she needs to abstain from to detach oneself form the attachment of this world to attach to the Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

It is an acceptable time to come back to me, however, the Gospel exhorts to us to do all what we want in secret addressing to the heavenly father who sees it in secret. We are sure that he will reward us for the same.


Journey of Love

Up Coming…


LOVE IS NOT THE DESTINY of one’s life rather it is the JOURNEY OF LIFETIME. What counts in life is, not how much love you have in the beginning rather how intimate you become. Still, we love and we learn to love.

<<Journey of Love>> is a venture to experience and share the love of God, the love that lights our path and kindles our desire especially in this season of lent. We need to realize that we are frightened to be in love, for to love is to die. It is not bondage rather a freedom of reverence and worship. Higher than sympathy and compassion, total passion, which calls for action.

Journeying in Love during the season of lent would mean, a step closer to God and fellow being in action and activity. Being in intimate relationship with God. It is a sub added to “SPIRITUALITY” to grow closer to God. Here we find topics for a fruitful celebration of lent discussed as stories, poems, and reflections and so on.


Simon to Veronica

Simon of Cyrene  and Veronica are persons whom Jesus encounters during his last journey to Calvary. However, I feel they represent two attitudes in life.

5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Simon as he was returning from the field was forced to help Jesus, though unwillingly he decides to do it. (How far we move out to help others in need and what motivates us to do that?)

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Where as Veronica, though weak and feeble (looking at the status of women in Jewish society) decides to help Jesus in the little way she can. The external circumstances does not affect her thinking or action she is moved by her inner conviction of love for Jesus. (Are we motivated by our inner convictions than the external forces in our efforts to help others?)

Where do we stand? It´s a journey that one will be able to make with conscious efforts and prayer.