St. Michael Catholic Church

Lenten Resources For All Ages

Lent

 
Lent 2021 Calendar – English:  Page 1     Page 2
Calendario Cuaresma 2021 – Español:   Página 1     Página 2

 

Lent is a Liturgical season that prepare us to the celebration of Jesus passion, death and resurrection. It is a time for prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is a great time to participate in the Sacrament of Penance. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday and lasts until Easter Sunday, 40 days, the same days Jesus spend in the desert in prayer.

Elijah fasted in a very harsh environment for forty days but was comforted by mysterious food and drink, mixed with travel, in mirror of the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years. 

These narrations help us understand the meaning of the forty days of the desert for Christ, lived as an experience of intimate temptation and encounter with the Father, but also as a preparation for His public ministry. 

The time of Lent – especially for those preparing for the Easter sacraments—is a time of spiritual growth, of deepening our personal relationship and interaction with God.

 

Ashes

This tradition has its roots in the old Testament, where wearing ashes was a common sign of repentance for sins, and a sign of one’s humility before God.

Ashes are distributed during the Mass, or service on Ash Wednesday. The gospel for Ash Wednesday is a reminder that the real purpose of the season of Lent is to seek conversion. Moses fasted in the desert for 40 days on the mountain of Sinai to receive the law (Ex. 24: 12-18, 34). His fasting contrasts with the wandering for 40 years---they are to remake the path of fidelity for the people did not know how to walk in relationship with God.

 

 

 

Prayer  

"Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."2
But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or "out of the depths" of a humble and contrite heart?3
He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer,
Only when we humbly acknowledge that "we do not know how to pray as we ought,"5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. CCC 2559

Jesus driven into desert after His Baptism    Luke 4: 1-13 Jesus went in to the desert for prayer and time with God, the Father; the devil wants to break Jesus’ relationship with the Father, just as he wants to break our relationship with God, the Father, through sin.  

Almsgiving

A call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels.  During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on "almsgiving," which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity.  As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is "a witness to fraternal charity" and  "a work of justice pleasing to God." CCC 2462

There are several special opportunities for almsgiving through donations to Church ministries for which collections are conducted during the Lenten season, like the CRS rice bowl or the collection for Holy Land.

Fasting

Refraining from food and drink as an expression of interior penance, in imitation of the fast of Jesus for forty days in the desert. Fasting is an essential practice recommended in Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers, it is sometimes prescribed by a precept of the Church, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.

“The fourth precept (“you shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart” CCC 2043  

Click here for Fasting/Abstinence guide.

 

Activities

Click on each graphic to find activities, worksheets, videos and music for all ages.