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Lent is coming fast. Don’t go it alone.

Ash Wednesday is only four weeks away. I know if feels like we just got through Christmas, but, trust me, Lent will be here before you know it, and wouldn’t it be nice to have a companion to guide you through the desert, especially when getting to church these days is difficult if not impossible due to COVID? I have just the thing for you. My latest book of Scripture reflections, Not By Bread Alone 2021: Daily Reflections for Lent.

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He is risen. Alleluia. Alleluia

Life begins again today. Even without dying, we feel reborn because we have been given the ultimate second chance. Without earning it, without understanding it, resurrection is now our destiny. Never has emptiness felt so full. Alleluia, Alleluia. He is risen. And we are saved.
From my final reflection of Not By Bread Alone 2016 (Liturgical Press). Thank you to all of you who journeyed with me through my book during this Lenten season.

Seven Last Words: a Good Friday reflection

Father forgive them, they know not what they do…

We see Jesus on the cross today and hear him forgiving his persecutors, forgiving us. It is a powerful scene, but it is more than just a scene out of our faith history. Jesus’ way is supposed to be our way. Forgive, forgive, forgive, even in the face of the most unreasonable suffering and injustice. Are we willing to forgive as Jesus did? Read more

Holy Thursday: “I have given you a model to follow.”

Holy Thursday stained glass“So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feel. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

–John 13: 12-15

Detail of stained glass window from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany.

 

We each harbor at least a sliver of Judas

My reflection from Give Us This Day today:

I’ve always had a tiny bit of a soft spot for Judas Iscariot. I know. It sounds crazy at best, traitorous at worst, but it’s true. When I hear today’s Gospel and fast-forward in my mind to what I know is coming, I ache a little for what I have to assume was terribly misguided good intention on Judas’s part. Read more

Lent: How are you doing one week into the journey? Listen now for encouragement from yours truly

We’re one week into our season of Lent. How have you been doing with your plans to sacrifice more, give more, pray more? I have to admit, I’m doing just okay. I need a little more work in the prayer department, for sure. (My daughter gave me some encouragement by leaving this random Lenten Post-it note over my desk. Thanks, Liv!)

I talked about all of this over on the Morning Air Show on Relevant Radio this week. If you missed the show yesterday, you can listen here today. I’m up first, so you can just click play and my interview will come up right after the intro.

Changing your meals from mindless to mindful

It’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Now and then it’s good to take a closer look at the method to our mealtime madness. Do we watch TV while we eat? Check email or Facebook? Argue with our kids? Stand at the counter? Fish our hand into a take-out bag as we drive? Read more

Lent: It’s not all about giving up chocolate and beer

So, I walked into my bathroom last night and found this message on my make-up mirror: “You’re beautiful!” I smiled because this wasn’t just any random note, this was the work of the Masked Lenten Post-It Bandit. Okay, that’s not what she calls herself, but that’s how I’m starting to think of her. Read more

My CRS Rice Bowl has arrived! Lent now feels official.

Every year our family looks forward to participating in the CRS Rice Bowl program, but for the past couple of years our local parish hasn’t made the cardboard bowls and accompanying calendar available to parishioners. So I have to get creative to get my Rice Bowl. One year I called CRS directly and had some shipped to our home in record time. This year I found a friend (Thanks, Theresa!) in a nearby parish and had her bring some Rice Bowls across county lines. Contraband Rice Bowls. That’s how we roll at the Poust House. Read more

You Can’t Fail Lent: 5 tips learned the hard way

My Lenten post over at HuffPost Religion:

Lent is one of those seasons that always begins with the best of intentions and rapidly goes downhill, at least that’s how it usually plays out for me. I plan to pray more, eat less, and find creative ways to make my favorite time in the Church year more meaningful. Unfortunately, the ashes hardly have time to settle into the wrinkles on my forehead before I’m feeling like I’ve already failed.

But Lent is a journey, not a pass-fail test. Trust me, if it were at all possible to fail Lent, I would have long ago been expelled from this spiritual school. Fortunately, the goal here is not a perfect score at the end of 40 days. In fact, let’s throw out the word “goal” and focus instead on practice — spiritual practice.

Here are five tips for shifting your Lenten journey from total spiritual makeover to subtle interior transformation:

Read more HERE.