Now that Lent is here, are you searching for a little inspiration and spiritual energy? Look no further than your tablet, smartphone or any other electronic device.
The Province’s Development Office is offering daily online Lenten reflections intended to nourish the spirit of busy people and help them prepare for Easter. Those who subscribe to HNP’s FriarWorks will receive a daily email throughout Lent with access to prayers, inspirational videos, and spiritual quotes.
Each email also contains an action-thought that brings a person or ministry to the hearts and minds of subscribers, according to FriarWorks, a website of the Province.
“We hear over and over again about giving up something for Lent. Often, these sacrifices either become a goal unto themselves or they are forgotten by Holy Week, just like New Year resolutions,” said David Convertino, OFM, executive director of FriarWorks.
David and his staff have developed an online resource, The Lenten Calendar for Busy People, to help individuals stay the course during the season leading to Easter.
“It’s a great way to keep up with Lent. The reflective prayers, videos, spiritual-quotes, and excerpts for each day of Lent are simple and brief – messages and thoughts that will stay with you through your entire day,” David said.
“Now you can be guided and nourished each day of Lent not only by giving something up but also by joining the Franciscan friars in the daily Lenten calendar online. You can also return to the calendar and replay any of the reflections,” he added.
Included in this inspirational Lenten series are audio recordings by Michael Carnevale, OFM, who reads from the Stations of the Cross, and videos featuring Michael Reyes, OFM, who educates and reflects on the beautiful religious sculpture The Pieta.
Some of the emails highlight Franciscan ministries, while others offer information and reflections from the St. Anthony’s Guild Press “Simply” booklets, the 36-page pamphlets sold through the Franciscan Store. The series features Saints Francis and Anthony as well as the San Damiano Cross.
“These reflections help each of us to begin again each day during Lent as we make our way ‘up to Jerusalem’ to be with the Lord as He suffers, dies and rises again – bringing us to new life,” said David, who began publicizing the Lent initiative more than a week before Ash Wednesday.
“Begin each day in Lent in a Franciscan way by joining the friars on FriarWorks,” he added.
The first email that subscribers received — on Ash Wednesday — provided a quote from Thomas Merton, the renowned Trappist monk, author, and religious scholar: “Even the darkest moments in the liturgy are filled with joy – and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten fast, is a day of happiness, a Christian feast.”
Subscribing to the Lent calendar’s daily posts can be done by visiting the FriarWorks website, which was created and launched four years ago to share the work being performed by the Franciscans through stories of people benefiting from HNP programs and ministries.
Last December, the Province offered another seasonal program – Blue Advent Day – on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. The day was marked by prayer for those requesting special support.
Editor’s note: An assortment of Lenten reflections by friars can be found on the Spiritual Resources page of the HNP website.
- “A Night of Stars – An Evening of Friend-raising” – Oct. 31, 2018, HNP Today
- “Province to Help Finance Burials of Abandoned Dead” – April 2, 2018, HNP Today
- “Development Office Raises 1200+ Sandwiches through Social Media Campaign” – Nov. 27, 2016, HNP Today