Pope’s Message for the Season of Lent
For the season of Lent 2012, Pope Benedict XVI’s message focuses on the theme of charity. Under the slogan “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works,” the Pope asks the faithful to be more attentive to the needs of others, especially during the 40 days of Lent.
He said this in his message for Lent 2012, which encourages support for fasting, prayer and charity during the forty day period. The Pope introduces his Lenten message in this way:
The Lenten season offers us once again an opportunity to reflect upon the very heart of Christian life: charity. This is a favourable time to renew our journey of faith, both as individuals and as a community, with the help of the word of God and the sacraments. This journey is one marked by prayer and sharing, silence and fasting, in anticipation of the joy of Easter.
This year I would like to propose a few thoughts in the light of a brief biblical passage drawn from the Letter to the Hebrews: “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works”. These words are part of a passage in which the sacred author exhorts us to trust in Jesus Christ as the High Priest who has won us forgiveness and opened up a pathway to God. Embracing Christ bears fruit in a life structured by the three theological virtues: it means approaching the Lord “sincere in heart and filled with faith” (v. 22), keeping firm “in the hope we profess” (v. 23) and ever mindful of living a life of “love and good works” (v. 24) together with our brothers and sisters.
In the SCES RESOURCES section of the SCES website, many resources are provided which could be useful in school, parish and home to promote prayerful reflection and action during the season of Lent.
In the folder Lent & Easter you will find resources such as:
- Daily Prayers and Reflections for Lent – a Powerpoint which provides daily prayers, some based on Stations of the Cross, useful for class lesson or assembly.
- Stations of the Cross – various Powerpoint presentations offering words and images of interest to different age groups
- Ash Wednesday and Holy Week para-liturgies useful for different situations
- Powerpoint templates – a series of templates with background images depicting Lenten, Holy Week and Easter themes. Add your own words to these background designs.
- Notes for Lent – providing some background information which may be useful to children at younger stages
- Spirit of the Season – a liturgical guide to the Season of Lent.
- Reconciliation – materials to support people of different ages to prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
SCIAF Lenten Resources
SCIAF is the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, the official aid and international development charity of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Working in over 16 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, SCIAF helps some of the poorest people in the world, regardless of religion, to work their way out of poverty.
SCIAF has provided a range of resources which will promote prayer, almsgiving and fasting during Lent:
- Teacher resources
- 40 Days 40 Ways cover and booklet
- Handy Guide to Lent for Parishes
- Children’s Liturgy and Activity Sheet
- Stations of the Cross booklet
- The Grace of 40 Days (Pat Pierce/CAFOD)
- Special Lenten Fast
- Lent Reflections – Ash Wednesday to Saturday
- Lent Reflections
MISSIO Scotland, which is the gateway to the Catholic Church’s official mission charities, has provided some Stations of the Cross resources (“Small Steps of Love and of Sorrow”), mainly aimed at pupils (“Missionary Children”) in Primary schools:
Weblinks to Lenten Resources
Stations of the Cross for our Times 2012. This resource was designed for use by parishes during the Season of Lent or on Good Friday with a view to helping =parish communities to reflect on some of the many issues that challenge us at this time.
Daily readings, prayers, activities and suggested reading (Catholic Culture)
Day by day scripture journey with links to activities and an archive of background reading. Prayer, scripture and activities can be adapted to be used within secondary school. Suggested reading suitable for teacher and upper secondary pupils.
Lenten Radio Retreat
Weekly radio broadcast from the Bishop’s in America based on the Liturgy of the Word from each Sunday in Lent. Archive link to different liturgical cycles.
Love Life, Live Lent (Birmingham)
Initiative to encourage Christian action and deeper reflection and prayer during Lent, rather than ‘just giving up something’. Website includes ideas for collective worship, with simple yet effective power-point presentation. May be suitable for year group assemblies. Week one – Home and Family, Week two – Neighbourhood, Week three – Community, Week four – School, Week five – Global.
Exploring Lent through Art (Barnabas publications)
Exploring the temptation of Jesus, the nailing of Jesus to the cross through art. Includes colour picture, background information, an artist’s commentary and reflective questions for pupils.
The Emmaus Story (Barnabas Publications)
The Gospel story and a follow up poem explore how one event can change our lives forever.
More weblinks to Lenten resources
- Activities for Lent
- All About Lent – Contains a number of articles:
Balancing the Old and the New by John Bookser Feister;
Understanding Lent Today by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk; Frequently Asked Questions About Lent –
Why ashes on Ash Wednesday? – What are the official fasting
and abstinence rules? – Why are there 40 days in Lent?
- Ashes on Ash Wednesday – Ask Father Mateo
- Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast
- Ash Wednesday – Catholic Encyclopedia
- Community Lent
- Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations
- Exploring Lent
- Fast and Abstinence – CIN
- From ashes to Easter – by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda
- Heart Prayers During Lent – based on the Catholic Lectionary
- In the Belly of Lent: Jonah and Us – St. Anthony Messenger Magazine Online
- Lent at the University of Dayton
- Lenten Music
- Lenten Reading
- Lent: Time to Review Your Life – by Michael J. Daley
- Links for Learners In the Belly of Lent Jonah and Us – by Lynn and Bob Gillen
- Make Your Own Exodus This Lent – by Michael J. Daley
- Meditations and Prayers for Lent and Easter
- Puzzle – Lenten Season
- ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’ – Pope John Paul II, General Audience
- The Observance of Lent I
- The Practice of Lenten Practices
- ‘This is not about you’—thoughts for Good Friday.
- University of Dayton – Lenten Meditation I – II – III – IV – V
- What’s the reason for ashes on Ash Wednesday