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February 23rd, 2012

Family Lent Calendar

Family Lent Calendar 2012

Family Lent Calendar – Download the above image

Here is the Lent Calendar for 2012. This one starts right from Ash Wednesday till Holy Saturday. The above calendar image is of 1320×1020 dimensions. Click on the image to view it in actual size. Then go ahead and right-click the image and save the lent calendar to your computer. You can print it later at your convenience.

Lent is the liturgical season of forty days which begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with the celebration of the Paschal Mystery (Easter Triduum). Lent is the primary penitential season in the Church’s liturgical year, reflecting the forty days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying. – Catechism of the Catholic Church

Family Lent Calendar Explained

February 

22 Feb – Take your family to an Ash Wednesday liturgy and wear the cross of ashes all day.
23 Feb – Tape a drawing of a vase on the fridge and label it, “Lent”. Each day draw a flower in the vase and watch Lent blossom.
24 Feb – Share a meatless family meal. Discuss your Lenten offerings to be sure all are doable and sacrificial.
25 Feb – Choose a family Lenten offering, such as giving up desserts, attending daily Mass, or praying a family Rosary regularly.
26 Feb – After Mass today, explain the Gospel and the homily in terms your children can understand.
27 Feb – Contact Catholic Relief Services (877-HELP-CRS, www.catholicrelief.org) to see how you can help any of their ongoing projects.
28 Feb – Invent a new family prayer you can say together each day.
29 Feb – Take stock of how your Lenten fasts are going, and refresh your commitment to them.

March

01 Mar – Before eating your family meal together, ask each person to say a spontaneous prayer.
02 Mar – Pray for the people in the world who can’t afford to have meat as a regular part of their diets.
03 Mar – Turn off the Television, unplug the computers, and take the phone off the hook for half an hour to pray the family Rosary.
04 Mar – Before Mass today, pick a saint represented in one of the statues in your church and find out more about him or her during the lent.
05 Mar – Collect stuffed animals or soft pillows in good condition and bring them to a local nursing home. Older folks love soft things to hug.
06 Mar – Ask each person to share a game, toy or treat with someone else in your home.
07 Mar – Plan how each of you can show kindness or compassion to someone else tomorrow.
08 Mar – Think of someone you don’t like and say three nice things about him or her.
09 Mar – Figure out how much your family saved by not eating meat today, and put that money in the poor box at church.
10 Mar – At bedtime, say “Let’s turn our hearts to God and think of Him.” Sit in silence for a few minutes.
11 Mar – Light a candle in Church today for someone who passed away or who needs special help.
12 Mar – Ask each family member to write a letter to Jesus thanking Him for his sacrifice on The Cross.
13 Mar – Make cookies and bring them to a nearby nursing home.
14 Mar – Encourage each family member to perform an examination of conscience.
15 Mar – Place a crucifix or picture of Jesus in a central place to keep the focus on Him.
16 Mar – Whenever someone does a good deed, put a jelly bean in a jar. Share the jelly beans at Easter!
17 Mar – Ask each person to make a sacrificial offering, such as doing an extra chore without being asked.
18 Mar – Laetare Sunday – Have a special meal at home or a restaurant to celebrate the half-way point through Lent.
19 Mar – Pick a friend or neighbor and perform an anonymous good deed for him or her.
20 Mar – Encourage all family members to refrain from bickering today.
21 Mar – Say a short prayer before each cross or crucifix in your home.
22 Mar – Make up a box for a needy family or homeless shelter. Put canned goods, clothing, toiletries and gently used toys in it.
23 Mar – Serve pretzels as a remainder that Catholics used to fast from milk, butter, eggs, cheese, cream and meat.
24 Mar – Make simple crosses out of construction paper. Write on them, “He died for me”, and post them around your home.
25 Mar – After Mass, light a candle, and recite the Apostle’s Creed as an affirmation of faith.
26 Mar – Pray for the victims of the earthquake still suffering in Haiti.
27 Mar – Send a card to someone who might need cheering today.
28 Mar – Give up a favorite toy or treat just for today.
29 Mar – Visit someone who is sick and can’t leave home.
30 Mar – Place any final donations in the box you set up. Make a family trip to deliver it to its destination.
31 Mar – Go to Confession or attend a Reconciliation service. Then go out afterwards to celebrate forgiveness.

April

01 Apr – Have a Palm Sunday procession around the house and take turns playing Jesus.
02 Apr – Take a walk outside and look for signs of new life.
03 Apr – Forgive someone who hurt you today.
04 Apr – Get up 15 minutes earlier than usual today and pray as a family.
05 Apr – Wash and dry each other’s feet in commemoration of Jesus washing the feet of His Apostles.
06 Apr – Pray the Stations of the Cross today, and mediate on each one.
07 Apr – Dress a doll in a white garment and talk about the Baptismal vows we renew each year.

Calendar Symbols

The solid fish icon = A day of fasting and abstinence from meat
The plain fish icon = A day of abstinence from meat

We hope this Family Lent Calendar will be useful for all in this lent season as we prepare our best to celebrate Easter.

April 24th, 2011

You Have Victory Over Death

You Have Victory Over Death

Easter Sunday is something special because it’s Resurrection Sunday! That’s the day the Church separates special time to remember and celebrate the resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead.

Thinking about resurrection, one fact stands out: initially Christ experienced death before He experienced resurrection! Most of us haven’t ‘tasted’ death. Few did have near-death experiences but still that’s not like being in the grave for three days!1

Jesus literally experienced total death in his body.2 He experienced its mental torture, pain and horror. It wasn’t a virtual tour to hell. He factually experienced that evil. And then He defeated it and came back to life!

There lies the beauty and awesomeness of resurrection. What is it? Since Christ experienced the ugliness and horrors of evil, He fully understands the pain and torture that you go through sometimes when you fall into the evil traps of temptation and sin. And He is neither going to condemn you nor leave you helpless. Since He has defeated evil, He will help you to get up and conquer every temptation and sin that tries to enslave you!3

Come on, this is Good News! As you lean on Christ as your Lord and Savior, He will lead you in triumphant victory. Hell and death has no power over you anymore. It doesn’t mean that you won’t die. Rather it means that you won’t be afraid to die!4

The resurrected One is living inside you!

1 Hebrews 2:14; 2 Luke 23:50-56; 3 Hebrews 4:14-16; 4 Hebrews 2:14-15; 5 Colossians 1:27

– – – written by Joe Abraham

April 24th, 2011

The Magic of Three Days

The Magic of Three Days

It was a beautiful spring day, and a sense of peace stayed with me as I left the cathedral on Easter Monday morning. I paused for a moment on top of the steps leading to the avenue, now crowded with people rushing to their jobs. Sitting in her usual place inside a small archway was the old flower lady. At her feet, corsages and boutonnieres were parading on top of a spread-open newspaper.

The flower lady was smiling, her wrinkled old face alive with some inner joy. I started down the stairs–then on an impulse, turned and picked out a flower.

As I put it in my lapel, I said, “You look happy.”

“Why not?’ she answered. “Everything is good.”

She was dressed so shabbily and seemed so very old that her reply started me. “You’ve been sitting here for many years now, haven’t you? And always smiling. You wear your troubles well.”

“You can’t reach my age and not have troubles,” she replied. “only it’s like Jesus and Good Friday….” She paused for a moment.

“Yes?” I prompted

“Well, when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, that was the worst day for the whole world. When I get troubles I remember that, and then I think of what happened only three days later-Easter and our Lord rose from the dead. So when things go wrong, I’ve learned to wait days and somehow everything gets much better.”

She smiled good-bye, but her words still follow me whenever I think I have troubles… “Give God a chance to help…wait three days.”

– – – written by Patt Barnes

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