It's Not Too Late. . .

A series of daily Lenten meditations on justice and peace.

2012 Year of Social Justice, with newly revised justice and peace meditations for Lent 2012.
We will also be posting meditations for Easter and the rest

of the liturgical year, for preaching, contemplation, and action.

Meditations below originally posted for Lent 1998.

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Five Pillars of a Proper Observance of Lent

+ Ash Wednesday February 25

+ Give us this day our daily Cross Thursday, February 26

+ Some Advice from God. Friday, February 27

+ And leaving everything behind. . . Saturday, February 28

+ The World, the Flesh, and the Devil , Sunday, March 1, the First Sunday of Lent

+ More Clues from God , Monday, March 2

+ On Earth as it is in Heaven , Tuesday, March 3, Memorial of Blessed Katherine Drexel

+ Turn away from violence! , Wednesday, March 4, Memorial of St. Casimir

+ Righteous Prayer, Righteous Action , Thursday, March 5

+ Change Your Ways , Friday, March 6

+ Covenant, Law, Happiness , Saturday, March 7

+ Covenant, Example, Transfiguration , Sunday, March 8

+ What goes around, comes around , Monday, March 9

+ Princes of Sodom, People of Gomorrah , Tuesday, March 10

+ Schemes and Conspiracies of Evil , Wednesday, March 11

+ There was a rich man. . . , Thursday, March 12

+ Kill the Prophets , Friday, March 13

+ I once was lost, but now I'm find , Saturday, March 14

+ I have witnessed the affliction of my people , Sunday, March 15

+ Wash yourself seven times in the Jordan Monday, March 16

+ Humility and Reconciliation, Tuesday, March 17

+ Obedience to Just Law , Wednesday, March 18

+ Covenant, Faith, Hope , Thursday, March 19

+ Return to God , Friday, March 20

+ The Dangers of Religious Hypocrisy , Saturday, March 21

+ More on Reconciliation , Sunday March 22

+ Poverty of Spirit , Monday, March 23

+ Let us oppress the Just , Friday, March 27

+ Poor People Are Stupid Scum , Saturday, March 28

+ Throwing Stones , Sunday, March 29, the Fifth Sunday of Lent

+ Corruption & Injustice, Light & Darkness , Monday, March 30

+ The Works of the Father, Tuesday, March 31

+ Slaves to Sin and Unjust Authority , Wednesday, April 1

+ A Very Big Clue , Thursday, April 2

+ Continuing a Theme , Friday, April 3

+ Promise of Redemption , Saturday, April 4

+ Sunday of the Lord's Passion of the Palms , April 5

+ The poor will always be with you , April 6

+ Jesus is betrayed. April 7

+ Shall we betray Jesus today? April 8

+ As I have done, so you must do. Holy Thursday

+ Gethsemene, Judas, Pilate , a literary harmony of the Gospels

+ The Seven Last Words , a literary harmony of the Gospels

+ Justice and peace meditation for Good Friday

These daily meditations for Lent are provided to help explore the spirituality and praxis (i.e. "practice") of justice and peace. Begin with a time of personal and restful prayer, perhaps using some of the traditional Catholic prayer resources such as one decade of the Rosary, or the Jesus Prayer. Read the lectionary scriptures, and then pray the daily intentions. Each day will have suggestions for orthopraxis (that is, correct practice). In addition to the daily thoughts, here are some general considerations regarding social justice and Lent.

Five Pillars of a Proper Observance of Lent

Prayer, Repentance, Fasting, Abstinence, Alms-giving

Lectio Divina is a traditional practice that involves reading the Scriptures as religious meditations. This link has several other links to lection divina, and other methods of Catholic prayer. The Scripture Index has selections of Holy Scripture relating to poverty, justice, mercy, peace, "widows and orphans", etc. arranged for lectio divina.

The United States Catholic Bishops' overseas development organization is the Catholic Relief Services . Many parishes participate in Operation Rice Bowl. As families fast and abstain and make simple meals during Lent, the money saved by this frugality is placed in a special offering box. On Easter, the money is brought to the Church. Three-fourths of the money goes to fund economic self-help projects overseas, and one-fourth is retained to help the poor in the diocese.

Alms-giving can also take the form of acts of kindness, compassion, and beauty.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving, and bearing wrongs patiently.

The Corporal Works of Mercy are feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, burying the dead, and giving alms.

We gain some measure of responsibility for the sins of others "when we cooperate in them by participating directly and voluntarily in them, by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them, by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; and by protecting evil-doers" (Catechism 1868).

Reconciliation is an important aspect of the Lenten observance. Reconciliation with God includes reconciliation with our neighbor here on Earth. Practice reconciliation and experience the strength, rebirth, and renewal that comes from being at peace with God, self, and neighbor.

Lenten Praxis

+ Participate in the Operation Rice Bowl program through your local parish. If this (or a similar) program is not offered, follow a regular Lenten schedule of fasting, abstinence, and simple meals, giving the money that is saved thereby to programs that help the poor.

+ Practice the Lenten disciplines carefully, regularly, and devoutly. If you would work for justice, first attend to your inner spiritual life. Without regular spiritual nourishment, the best intentions will fail for lack of energy and renewal.

+ Set aside time during Lent when you limit your food budget to the typical food budget of persons who receive foodstamps (or some similar kind of government relief in other countries). Your local food stamp office (in the US) can give you the figures for your area, but a typical benefit for a family of three is US $270/month, or US $90/month/person, or US $1.00/person/meal. Do this for a day, a week, or even the entire season of Lent.

+ Cut back on eating out, and give the money saved to the poor. When you do eat out, drink water and give the money you would have spent on a drink to the poor.

+ Go through closets and storage spaces, and give your superfluous possessions to programs that feed, house, and clothe the poor, or give them directly to poor people you are acquainted with. Practice prudence and frugality, question your allegiance to material things.

Prepared by Robert Waldrop, justpeace webservant, Lent 1998

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