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Lenten Journey: Week 2

As we embark on the Second Week of Lent we invite you to consider the following suggestions for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. These can either be in addition to last week’s suggestions or you can start anew. 
 
I recently came across a wonderful article by Fr. Jerry Kurian, a Syriac Orthodox priest. In it he proposes that our Lenten fasting and abstinence are fir naught if these do not change our hearts. Lent he says is a time to learn anew how to bend our knees, mend our hearts, and lend our hands. This is truly a beautiful description of what we are called to do during Lent and in fact, throughout our entire Christian Journey.
 

Mending our Hearts: Fasting from Gossip

  • On a number of occasions, Pope Francis has declared gossip to be rotten and poisonous. At first, he suggests that it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy. But at the end, “it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us.” 
  • Gossip not only hurts other people and brings them down it is also contrary to our Christian way of life. As Pope Francis notes: “a loving community, a caring community, a Christian community is a community that is free from gossip.”
  • Fasting from gossip requires great attention to our feelings about others. It also requires a careful and disciplined use of language. Lent is the perfect time to “soften our hardened hearts and to silence our sharpened tongues.” 
 
Bending our Knees: Praying the Station of the Cross
  • Praying the Stations of the Cross is an ancient Christian devotion which invites us to meditate on the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. A history of this devotion is offered in this week’s Art that Surrounds Us: https://www.mary.org/blog/202102/art-surrounds-us-stations-cross#.YDU4dNhKiJA .
  • On Fridays of Lent we pray the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm. You can join us in person or via livestream. Each Friday we will pray a different version of the Stations of the Cross both in terms of the text and the images that are used. If you join us in person a QR code will allow you to see the images. For those at home you will see the image on your screen. 
  • If you would like to pray the Stations of the Cross at home you can use the weekly recorded livestream or you can find a narrated slideshow of our Scriptural Stations at https://vimeo.com/403088034. These stations were commissioned by The Basilica of Saint Mary from local artist Lucinda Naylor and master printer Steven Anderson to mark the second millennium of Christianity. The art was inspired by Scripture while the meditations by Johan van Parys were inspired by the art.  
 
Lending our Hands: Charitable Giving of Blood
  • During the Season of Lent we give thanks for Jesus’ willingness to die for us on the cross. This act has deep sacrificial meaning and great theological implications for all of us.  
  • May Jesus’ willingness to give his blood so that we might live inspire us to donate our blood to save the lives of others. This is particularly important during this pandemic, especially for those who have developed antibodies to the virus.
  • All blood banks are in need, now more than ever.  To donate blood you can contact the Red Cross at www.redcrossblood.org/give or the Memorial Blood Center at www.mbcherohub.club
 
 
And please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be patient with yourself and others.
 
 

In our weekly video series "Art That Surrounds Us," Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, shares information about a piece from The Basilica of Saint Mary's art collection. This week, Johan discusses the Biblical and historic roots of Stations of the Cross, and their connection to the salvific Passion of Jesus.

We are very blessed to have several sets of Stations of the Cross at The Basilica: the original stations that were carved in Italy and installed in 1926, Scriptural stations by Lucinda Naylor and Steven Anderson, which were commissioned by The Basilica of Saint Mary to mark the second Millennium of Christianity in the year 2000, and a set of traditional stations by Leo Winstead in our Saint Joseph Chapel.

Please join us on the Fridays of Lent for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm (central time), either join us in person or via livestream. This year we will be praying a different version of the Stations each Friday and will meditate on different art.

 

 

 

Lenten Journey: Week 1

Lenten Journey

 

Week 1

Fasting, Praying, and Charity during the First Week of Lent
 
The ultimate goal of the Season of Lent is a conversion of heart or a turning away from our sinful ways in order to embrace the Gospel. One of the phrases used during the imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday is this: Repent, and believe in the Gospel. This is a very direct and clear statement. This is what we are called to do during Lent.
 
Each Friday of Lent we will offer you one attainable suggestion for the three Lenten disciplines of fasting, prayer and charity. You might look at these as cumulative as we journey through the season. For this First Week of Lent we invite you to: fast from noise; engage in Centering Prayer; and be a Simon of Cyrene to others.
 
Fasting from Noise
  • Our world is filled with constant noise. As individuals and as a society we have become estranged from silence. And yet it was not in the loud thunder but rather in the silent breeze that God was revealed. 
  • This Lent we might do well to make time for silence in an intentional and prayerful way. 
  • The kind of silence we pursue is not simply the absence of noise or a suspension of speech. We seek the kind of stillness where the Word of God is revealed, the voice of God is recognized and the love of God is experienced.
     
Centering Prayer
  • This type of Contemplative Prayer is a perfect companion to our attempt to fast from noise. Centering Prayer is the prayer of silence. In this deep silence, reaching beyond thoughts, words and emotions we open our mind, heart and soul to God.
  • For more information on Centering Prayer we invite you to visit:
 

Charity: Being a Simon of Cyrene for someone

  • A simple and silent way to train ourselves in acts of kindness is through the exercise of being a Simon of Cyrene. Like Simon helped to buttress Jesus’ cross we are asked to help others. 
  • Put the names of your family and/or friends into a bag. Each Sunday in Lent draw a name and keep it a secret. Try to do something kind for that person during the week without letting them know who did it. At the end of the week, you might try to guess who your “Simon of Cyrene” was.   
 
Throughout Lent please remember to be patient with yourself and others.  Lent is neither an endurance test nor a time to prove our Christian stamina. Rather, Lent is a time to slow down and ponder what is essential to our faith and thus to our life as Christians. So please pace yourselves. Give yourself and others the necessary space. And above all be forgiving.

 

 

The Catholic Services Appeal Foundation of the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Area provides funding to the 20 collective ministries that no one parish can support on its own. All gifts are restricted gifts to the Designated Ministries. Please join us in supporting those most in need. There are many ways to give to help others.

https://csafspm.org/givecsaf/

Catholic Services Appeal Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Preparing for Lent

The Season of Lent

Prepare for a fruitful celebration of the Season of Lent.

 

Prayer

Lent Schedule: Join us online or in-person during the Season of Lent.

Pray the Stations of the Cross: these stations were commissioned by The Basilica from local artist Lucinda Naylor to mark the second millennium of Christianity. The Meditations were inspired by the art.

Lectio Divina: Lectio Divina invites us into scripture, meditation, prayer, contemplation and action.

Pray the Rosary together either in person or virtually: we have made a virtual Rosary available on our website. 

 

Art

Visit the online Lent and Easter Art Collection

 

40 Days of Lent

Week 1

Lent is an Invitation by Johan van Parys, Ph.D.

 

In our weekly art video series Johan van Parys, Ph.D., our Director of Liturgy and Sacred Arts, veers off a bit to discuss a symbol rather than a work of art and shares an edition of "Symbols that Surround Us."
 
On Wednesday we begin our forty day long Lenten journey in preparation of the celebration of the Paschal Mystery: the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In this episode, Johan discusses the Biblical and liturgical roots in the custom of imposing ashes on Ash Wednesday.
 
 
 
 
In years past, teens in our Basilica Youth Engaged in Service (or YES) group would gather the Sunday evening before Ash Wednesday to make the soups, and members of our Parish Council and Finance Committee would serve the Ash Wednesday meal.
 
This year, unfortunately, we will not host our soup supper event due to COVID-19. To honor our soup supper tradition, in this video we present three new vegetarian soup recipes made by members of our staff. Our guest judges, including Fr. Bauer, will award a Golden Ladle to the soup chosen as their favorite.
 
These soup recipes, plus some favorites from years past, are available at http://bit.ly/BSM-soups, should you want to make a delicious Basilica soup at home this year for your Ash Wednesday.
This year, you are invited to Mass with the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 17. In-person Masses are at 7am, 12 noon and 5:30pm. Pre-registration for in-person attendance at the noon and 5:30pm Masses opens on Monday at mary.org. (Guests attending the 7am Mass can register at the east church door by Cowley Center. Guests at all other masses enter at the ground level west doors.)
 
We will livestream the 12 noon and 5:30pm Masses on mary.org and Facebook. For those who livestream Mass, we will also distribute ashes outside on 17th Street for 30 minutes after the noon and 5:30pm Masses. Those receiving ashes outside may stay in their cars.
 
 
 
 

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