I like Lenten calendars. The are similar to Advent calendars, but instead of opening a little paper window each day to obtain a chocolate, Lenten calendars simply give a compelling thought or helpful suggestion for each day; for example, a specific situation of suffering or injustice to hold in prayer or a particular act of kindness to show toward others. In this sense, Lenten calendars open a window into one's heart and encourage personal reflection, repentance, and expression of Christ's love in action. Therein lies the sweetness!
Our community received the annual Lenten Solidarity Calendar and other materials from The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, which is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis, a network of over 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations working on behalf of the poor and oppressed in 198 countries and territories. For the past couple of weeks, I've been reading this Lenten calendar with interest (and, yes, without chocolates!), along with the Solidarity Way of the Cross brochure, as part of my own Lenten journey in preparation for Easter. The theme for Lent that Development and Peace / Caritas Canada is focusing on this year is: Women at the Heart of Change, highlighting some of the challenges that many girls and women face around the world.
If you are looking for a way to deepen, and sweeten, your Lenten practice, consider downloading these and other materials from the Development and Peace / Caritas Canada website.
-- Sister Elizabeth Marie