Servants of the Lord & the Virgin of Matará

Catholic Culture

Lenten Journey

Fra.Angelico.BeatutidesAsh Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the liturgical season in which Catholics prepare for the triumph of Jesus’ resurrection by uniting themselves more closely to Christ in His life, passion and death. The season of Lent lasts 40 days, symbolically representing the 40 days that Jesus fasted and was tempted in the desert prior to the beginning of His active ministry.

In this effort to foster conversion in our hearts during this Lenten season, we find that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1434) suggests the following activities:

Spiritual exercises: spiritual reading (Lectio Divina); making a retreat of the Spiritual Exercises according to St. Ignatius of Loyola; increasing prayer time – Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), the Rosaryreflecting on Sunday Gospel readings with friends and family;

Penitential liturgiesThe Light is On For You, Wednesdays in Lent in the Metro DC area; or call your local parish for Confession opportunities;

Pilgrimages: a sign of penance, places of pilgrimage in the United States;

Voluntary self-denial: fasting and almsgiving;

Fraternal sharing: charitable and missionary works.

Online Resources

Homilies of Fr. Carlos Buela

Recommended Reading for the Spiritual Life

Sacred Scripture, particularly the Gospels, daily Mass Readings

On the life of Jesus Christ:

  • Life of Christ and Calvary and the Mass by Fulton Sheen;
  • Christ the Life of the Soul by Columba Marmion;
  • The Sacred Passion by Luis de la Palma;
  • Life of Jesus Christ by Abbot Riccioti
  • INRI by Fr. Miguel Angel Fuentes, IVE—Spanish only

Classic Works of Spirituality:

  • Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis;
  • Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales;
  • Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Ligouri;
  • Ascent of Mount Carmel and Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross;
  • Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre Caussade

Lives of the Saints:

  • The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux;
  • Confessions by St. Augustine;
  • Saint Francis and Saint Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton;
  • The Curé d’Ars: St. Jean-Marie-Baptiste Vianney by Abbé François Trochou
  • The Family that Overtook Christ by Raymond (Biographical novel of the life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and his family)
  • Forget not Love: The Passion of Maximilian Kolbe by André Frossard

Discerning and Living out Your Vocation in Holiness