What Do Cell Phones Have to Do with Lent?

Pope Francis always challenges us. I noticed a post in a blog, or it might have been a Facebook feed, or a meme on Instagram, that said the pope is prompting us to spend as much time with the Bible as we do with our cell phones. I thought that was good advice for others, but certainly not for me.

As Lent begins, Pope Francis has been asking us to think of our Bibles, to be in them more than we are our cell phones. In his Angelus address he asked “What would happen were we to treat the Bible as we treat our mobile phone?; were we to always carry it with us? . . . were we to turn back when we forget it?”

The Secret Challenge of Lenten Giving

Every time Lent comes around, the perfectionist in me starts showing its face more than usual. I always start the season with the intention of doing more than just giving up chocolate or something simple like that, but sometimes I go a little overboard with my Lenten commitments and end up having to ease up on some of them.

I’m sure I’ll always have this impulse to aim higher than I can reasonably go, even though I’ve learned to temper my expectations and avoid getting down on myself when I fail. My perfectionism doesn’t just apply to what I do during Lent, though. It also applies to the way I do things, which in some ways is even more powerful.

As we hear during the Gospel at every Ash Wednesday, Jesus wants us to “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Instead, we are to pray, fast, and give alms without anyone noticing, so that the Lord, the only one who will notice when we do things that way, will repay us in heaven. 

Holy Quotes from Mother Teresa

The call to holiness guided Mother Teresa throughout her life. She said, “Every day I pray, please let my people grow in holiness. I need holy people to offer to God, I don’t need numbers. That urgency for holiness was what she taught me, by example, by words, by silence. It is not possible for those of us who claim to be her spiritual children to ignore the heroic promise she made to God: “I will give saints to Mother Church.”

Fr. Angelo Scolozzi, M.T.

All the News That’s Fit to Share

Seek truth and report it.

Minimize harm.

Act independently.

Be accountable and transparent.

Those are the four principles that the Society of Professional Journalists says are the foundation of ethical journalism. These days, though, there seems to be a debate as to whether those codes are being regularly honored in reporting. We regularly hear phrases like “fake news” and “alternative facts.” The line has blurred so much between news reporting, satire, and commentary that it’s often hard to tell where the lines used to be.

Lent with Pope Francis: Who Am I to Judge?

A Word from Pope Francis

We are all masters, we are all experts, when it comes to justifying ourselves. We all have an alibi to justify our shortcomings, our sins. We so often respond with an ‘I don’t know!’ face, or with an ‘I didn’t do it, it must have been someone else!’ face. We are always ready to play innocent. Before and after confession, in your life, in your prayer, are you able to blame yourself? Or is it easier to blame others?

Lent with Br. Casey: Keep Going

“I’ve made it.”

In a moment of self-reflection, have you ever looked around at your life—all that you’ve done, all that you have, and all that the future holds—and realized that you were on a mountain? In this moment, you realize, of sublime comfort and perfect confidence, all the pieces of your life have fallen into place and you are finally exactly where you want to be. “I’ve made it—and I don’t want to leave.”

I can distinctly remember this feeling three times in my life.

Take Some Time Away from Technology This Lent

In John 4:1–26, we read the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at the well. This woman provides us with a great example of humility. Deep down she knew she was living a sinful life, but she was still willing and open to hear what Jesus had to say about her search for happiness, which had so far left her empty.

Lent with Mother Teresa: Little Gifts of Grace

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.—Psalm 51:10–12

Follower of Saint Francis: Sister Rose Jochmann, OSF

When Brother Sun shines on the  Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross motherhouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin, its rays bring more than warmth and natural light. The 416 solar panels soak in the sun’s energy on the grounds of the motherhouse, an initiative spearheaded by Sister Rose Jochmann, OSF.

The Hope of Lent: The Least of These

Word from Pope Francis

"How is your health, you who are a good Christian?”— "Good, thank God; but also, when I need to, I immediately go to the hospital and, since I belong to the public health system, they see me right away and give me the necessary medicines.”—“It’s a good thing, thank the Lord. But tell me, have you thought about those who don’t have this relationship with the hospital and when they arrive, they have to wait six, seven, eight hours?”