Skip to comments.For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Posted on 02/17/2007 8:27:18 PM PST by Salvation
For study and reflection
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Lent is a particularly appropriate time for families (as well as individuals!) to develop a Lenten reading program (reading can replace some of the television shows we've given up for Lent.) Also, reading aloud from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church or from a Catholic classic every evening for half an hour can be a way of fostering family conversation about the Catholic faith. This can bear so much good fruit that it is worth the effort to organize it. (We suggest picking one evening a week for this -- say Wednesdays.)
Maria von Trapp suggests that "every year we should divide our reading into three parts: something for the mind, something for the heart, something for the soul" [p. 104]. (We cannot regard mind, heart and soul as really separate, of course.)
The Holy Scripture fills all these categories. For example, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Wisdom and the Old Testament books of Law and History might be "for the mind"; Psalms, Job, and Song of Songs, "for the heart"; and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel other Old Testament prophets and the entire New Testament "for the soul". Following are a few other suggestions for each category, and other suggestions are in the bibliography section at the end of the Family Sourcebook for Lent and Easter:
Something for the mind
- Spend time with the Catechism of the Catholic Church (link on Vatican web site). It would be a very good thing if every family member who has been confirmed hadtheir own personal copy. But sections can be printed out for study.
- Read a Catholic classic such as G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy, Francois Mauriac's Holy Thursday, Pascal's Pensees, Hans Urs von Balthasar's Prayer, Henri de Lubac's Motherhood of the Church, or a work of Edith Stein, Paul Claudel, Cardinal Newman.
- Study Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter, Familiaris Consortio on the Christian family; or any of his writings, especially Original Unity of Man and Woman, Blessed are the Pure in Heart, or Reflections on Humanæ Vitæ.
Something for the heart
- Learn more about a courageous Christian of the past -- there are many good new biographies, for exampe, Saint Isaac Jogues, Saint Joan of Arc, Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Teresa of Avila, or the patron saints of family members. Many pages on the Liturgical Calendar on this site can be useful for readings of the day, background, and suggestions for family observance.
- Listen to music and study art works that are part of our rich Catholic heritage (see the suggested list of music available on recordings in the bibliography section of Family Sourcebook for Lent and Easter.)
Something for the soul
- Recite the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours), or memorize a devotion or classic Catholic prayer, perhaps one of those found in the Prayers and Devotions section of this web site.
- Read works of great spiritual writers of the past such as Saint Ignatius of Loyola, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, Imitation of Christ by Thomas á Kempis, The Way of Perfection, by Saint Teresa of Avila.
- Study contemporary spiritual writings, such as Pope John Paul II's meditation, The Light of Christ, quoted above, Sign of Contradiction, or The Way of Christ.
- Say the Rosary - If possible, together as a family at least once a week. If there are young children, Lent is a good time to begin to teach them to say the "Hail Mary" as part of their bedtime prayers, along with the "Our Father".
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Thank you for this post. Bless you.
This book may be available thru your library's interlibrary loan system for no charge.
Thank YOU for coming on board.
Going to check out that link. Looking forward to the fish fries in Lent!