So we’re into our second day of Lent and maybe you’re already thinking whatever you planned for Lent could use a little boost or support. Maybe the fasting part of Ash Wednesday was fine but you felt lacking in the prayer department. It’s not too late to gather up some resources to keep things moving in the right direction or to find a new direction even now, after Lent has officially begun. No one said you can’t change the plan once you’ve started on the path. You can always change the plan, especially if you’re not feeling spiritually fed by what you’re doing. This isn’t about meeting some earthly marker but about growing closer to God.
One our favorite things at the Poust House is CRS Rice Bowl. Every year we put the cardboard “bowl” on the center of our table with a wooden cross and white candle. It’s an exterior reminder of our interior journey of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, all bringing us closer day by day to the light of Easter. But this year (again) our parish didn’t offer rice bowls. Never fear! CRS has a printable version, so you can make your own. Click HERE and you’ll get the rice bowl art plus access to all the things you would typically get on the printed calendar — daily readings, meatless recipes, stories of faith from the many places around the world where CRS is making a difference.
CRS kicks it up a notch by offering the CRS Rice Bowl app. You can download it for free and set reminders for daily reflections, and you’ll have handheld access to all those same recipes and stories. I’m loving it. I’m going to have my kids download the app to their phones. Even if they read it only a few times, it’s more than they might do otherwise. Either go to your App Store, or click HERE for more information and a link through CRS.
Yesterday, feeling like needed to have a more appropriate Lenten soundtrack as I worked, I purchased Lent at Ephesus, the new CD from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. You may recall that I gushed over their Advent CD two years ago. I often play that one in non-Advent seasons, it’s so good. The beautiful Lenten CD is available directly through the Benedictines of Mary (you can also hear some samples there) and also through Amazon. If you go through Amazon, it comes with AutoRip, meaning you get an immediate MP3 download, so you can start listening, well, now.
And, of course, there are almost endless things you can download or access to support your Lenten plan. If you haven’t seen Give Us This Day, a monthly subscription-based collection of daily readings and reflections, definitely check that out. And not just because I write for them sort of regularly. (You’ll find my reflection on March 21 in the current issue.) Your subscription will come with a digital edition as well as print so you’ll never be without it.
I’ll be back soon with some book recommendations to take you through the rest of Lent and beyond.