In his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and asks us to contemplate Paul's invitation to live "a life of evangelical poverty."
We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or "giving up" material things, including foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; "taking up" charitable habits that are directed to helping and caring for others; and "lifting up" our brothers and sisters who are in need through giving alms, praying and participating in devotional practices.
"In the poor and outcast we see Christ's face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ."
Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014
By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must first be evangelized ourselves. Spiritual suggestions, along with inspirational words from Pope Francis and some of the saints who are remembered during the season on our downloadable Lenten calendar provide a daily reminder of your evangelical call.
This Lent, we also have urgent reason to focus prayer and attention on peace in the Holy Land, as our leaders work to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
CRS Rice Bowl is Catholic Relief Services’ Lenten faith-in-action program for parishes, schools and families. The program invites Catholics to live in solidarity with our poorest and most vulnerable brothers and sisters through the three Lenten pillars of praying, fasting, and almsgiving.
Participants journey throughout the forty days of Lent with the daily reflections included in the Lenten Calendar, offering the small, suggested sacrificial gifts to fill their Rice Bowls as they read and watch Stories of Hope from individuals and communities whose lives have been changed by CRS Rice Bowl contributions.
Since 1975, Catholics have been using CRS Rice Bowl to meditate on the love Jesus Christ demonstrates in His Passion and Resurrection and to imitate Jesus’ love for the world through concrete, sacrificial giving to our brothers and sisters in need.
CRS Rice Bowl asks us to:
- Pray to deepen our relationship with God and reflect on what type of person He calls us to be.
- Fast to remove the things that get between us and God and to live in solidarity with those in need.
- Give alms to our brothers and sisters in need, honoring Jesus’ call to serve our
Check Back in February 2017!
Looking for Liturgical Guidelines for Lent? Follow this link.