Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Carmelites in Lent

For Lent, the Carmelites offer a series of daily reflections from one of the most popular Carmelite saints, St. Therese of Lisieux:

One of the great struggles of our faith lives is that often–in a sincere attempt to deepen spiritually–we overreach and build up the idea of having a relationship with God into a monumental undertaking that is doomed from the start. It’s not all that different from wanting to get into shape physically but not starting because we believe we must be able to run a marathon immediately.

Fortunately for us, St. Therese of Lisieux provides a much-needed antidote to this sort of crippling spiritual ambition. In the 100 years since her canonization, Therese has become the most beloved female saint in the Catholic church largely due to her beautifully simple approach to prayer as well as her "Little Way" in which she discovered God’s enormous love and grace in the most mundane and simple tasks of her day (from working in the laundry to being kind to some of the more difficult personalities in her Carmelite religious community).

During this Lenten season, we’ve transformed our Daily Disconnect into "The Little Way through Lent." The basic premise of the prayer exercise remains the same but our quotes and reflections have all been adapted for Lent from Fr. John F. Russell O.Carm’s book A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and St. Therese of Lisieux. We invite you to take a few minutes every day this Lent to disconnect and pray with Therese but we’ve also added a bit of a twist.

In the popular imagination, Lent is often equated with abstaining from chocolate or meat. The truth is, traditional Lenten observance emphasizes the practices of fasting, prayer and almsgiving among Christians. So, in addition to the daily contemplation offered, we also encourage you to pay attention to the "Little Ways" we post everyday at the end of the disconnect, on our homepage and on our Facebook page. In the spirit of Therese’s Little Way, our daily "Little Ways" offer suggestions everyday for small acts of praying, fasting and giving that can be done relatively easily.

You can learn more here.

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