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Lenten Psalm of Awakening

“Come, O Life-giving Creator, and rattle the door latch of my slumbering heart. Awaken in these fortified days of Lenten prayer and discipline my youthful dream of holiness. Show to me during these Lenten days how to take the daily things of life and by submerging them in the sacred to infuse them with a great love for you, O God, and for others.”

— Prayers For a Planetary Pilgrim, Edward Hayes

As the Lenten Season approaches, we are introduced to the three pillars of Lent in the Gospel of Matthew.

Almsgiving

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your (God) who sees in secret will reward your.”

— Matthew 6:3-4

Almsgiving does not always mean monetary giving. Another way of practicing almsgiving is performing loving actions to family and friends many times a day. Strangers not known personally but who need thoughts of love and mindfulness are waiting as they suffer at the border.

Sister Kay Manley took this photo in 2009. It is of a tree in the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Prayer

“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your (God) who is in secret and your (God) who sees in secret will reward you.”

— Matthew 6: 6, 9-15

Pray the Lord’s Prayer slowly and intentionally.

Reflections on the Lord’s Prayer may lead to praying more deeply for personal needs, needs of family and for protection of migrants and asylum seekers.

  • How do I honor God as creator of all things? How do I honor God in my thoughts, my words, and my actions?
  • How does my life reflect God’s Reign of love, justice and mercy? Am I putting too much emphasis on material things?
  • Can I trust God to provide for my daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs?
  • When I have sinned, do I admit my wrong, ask God’s forgiveness, and start anew?
  • When people have wronged me, am I able to forgive them as God forgives me?

Fasting

“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your (God) who is in secret; and your (God) who sees in secret will reward you.”

— Matthew 6:17-18

Fasting from an overly busy pace of activities allows one time to rest in the presence of our Redeemer and time to fortify self so as to nourish our neighbor.

Matthew 6:16 reminds us: “When you fast, do not be somber.” We are united with each other in almsgiving, prayer and fasting.

Being joyful during Lent is expressed in our belief in triumph over evil, love over death.

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Sister Kay Manley

Sister Katherine Manley, better known as Kay, has been a Sister of Providence for 62 years. She ministers in Congregational Department Ministries at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, and is an avid Indianapolis Colts fan.

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14 Comments

  1. Paula Modaff, SP on February 20, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks, Kay, for these reflections as we approach Lent. After all of these years I still need all the help I can get to enter into the spirit of it.

    • Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Paula, if you are like me, we both need constant reminders and help.

  2. S. Denise Wilkinson on February 21, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Thanks, Kay. This helps me remember that Lent’s challenge is to live gospel values. It’s about “doing” loving actions

    • Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      Denise, I hope to be on the receiving end of your loving actions.

  3. PAULA DAMIANO on February 21, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Thank you for the inspiration as Lent approaches. I’ll keep it in my prayer space.

    • Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Please remember me in as you visit your prayer space.

  4. barbara sheehan on February 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    Kay, this is a wonderful reflection. Invites me into this time in a good way. THANKS….

    • Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you, Barbara. Meet you on the Lenten journey.

  5. Sr. Andre on February 22, 2020 at 9:02 am

    Thanhs Kay.This gives me a lot to think about and reflect on during Lent.

    • Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      When you are reflecting, Andre, remember me in prayer.

  6. Eva Gankiewicz Merkel on February 22, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for helping me reflect on the beauty of this upcoming season.

  7. Jenny Howard on February 24, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Thanks, Kay….appreciate your reflections and how they will help prepare and sustain me/us during Lent.

  8. Katherine Manley on February 24, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Eva, you are welcome.

  9. Jeanne Hagelskamp, SP on February 26, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Thank you, Kay, for getting us started into Lent, 2020, with such good reminders. And thank you for the beautiful image of the tree in the Garden of Gethsemane.

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