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Campus Ministry » Lenten Reflections 2022

Lenten Reflections 2022

During the season of Lent, students and faculty write reflections for each day based upon the readings of the day.
 
Chaplain's Website
Our Chaplain maintains a website with his homilies, reflections and other spiritual resources. Check it out at www.thefriar.org. Audio Recordings of the Advent and Lenten Reflections can be found there as well.
 
Lenten Reflections begin on Wednesday, March 2.
 
March 9, 2022
To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at thefriar.org.
 

Lent is a time of year to focus on Repentance, Reflection, Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving. I believe that if you really strive to work on all five of those things, you will get a lot out of Lent and feel a lot better about your spiritual life. Repentance is a big one, you repent every time you receive the sacrament of Reconciliation. From my own personal experience, I can tell you with full honesty that going to confession is like taking the best hot shower of your life. You are washed away of all sin with six words, "I absolve you from your sins."

 

This gives me the hope that if I hear those six words very frequently, I'll have a pretty good shot at heaven. Reflection is what you do before Reconciliation and often at random times every day. It can sometimes bother me when I look back on the past days, weeks, and months and think about all the sins I've committed. But I always remember that God can and will always forgive you. This is my conscience bothering me and letting me know that right around now would be a great time for a Confession. 

 

Talking to God Can Be a Struggle

To be honest, I've always struggled with prayer in my life. I find it challenging to just say a simple Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be before bed. Prayer is one of the things I believe a lot of us can work on in our own lives. With all the distractions of this world (phones, snapchat, computers) it is very difficult to just be in God's presence and thank him for all the good things he has given us and done for us.

 

New Routines

One of the routines I'm trying to develop is going to the Chapel some mornings or after school and be with God. I occasionally put on my favorite Christian music, look at a few different prayers, or just simply relax and be with him.

 

I'm sure most of you are fasting from something for Lent, and I'll be honest, that's what I struggle with the most. Taking something out of my routine is very hard for me to do and often fails. The first idea I had was to try and not have any cafeteria food. That ended around three hours after I started. One of the virtues we need for fasting is perseverance. Jesus went 40 days without any distractions (except for the devil) and succeeded. His example proves we can do the same if we just persevere.

 

It is Good to Be Generous

Almsgiving is giving part of your possessions to the poor and those in need. I challenge you to drop just a $5 or a $10 into the collection box the next time you go to church. I'm sure the poor need it more than any of us do (I know that some ice cream from Andy's is going to help me a lot less than someone who is struggling to survive).
 
I believe that there's a whole lot of different things all of us can do to strengthen our souls and grow closer to God this Lent. If you notice you are struggling, just say a simple prayer of perseverance to God. Even though it may not seem like it , God always hears your prayers and answers them, you just have to listen. If you woke up tomorrow with everything you thanked God for today, what would you have?
 
-- Will Jacob, Class of 2025
 
March 8, 2022
To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at thefriar.org
 

How to Pray

In today’s Gospel, Jesus educates his Disciples on how they are to pray. Jesus says that when praying “…Do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your father knows what you need before you ask Him”. Let’s break that down.

 

You Must Be Humble

What Jesus is getting at is when you pray, you must also be humble, as mentioned in a Gospel not too long ago where Jesus had said when you pray, don’t make it obvious like the Pharisees, rather, go into a closed room, pray, and your Father will reward you. That Gospel from last week intertwines with today’s Gospel, in that we must always be humble, and meek of heart.

Jesus constantly showed us throughout His Ministry that we must be humble, and that nothing ever goes unnoticed, especially when our Father in Heaven in watching, and it is Him who it is most important that watches.

 

The Our Father

After saying this, Jesus goes on to say the famous prayer, the Our Father. While saying this, Jesus captivates the audience in shock and awe, because the Disciples realize how easy it is to pray. Just like that. Even Jesus Himself told how easy it is to pray. Never once does He say we must stress over it, or find it difficult, but Jesus says to pray, and to pray with love of heart.

 

One thing that I hope you take away from this reflection today is that you must always be humble, and you may feel unnoticed, but in the grand scheme of things, your Heavenly Father is watching and at the end of the day, the Father is the most important viewer of your actions because one by one, they grant you a closer step to Eternal glory in His presence.

--Julien Hernandez, Class of 2025

Other High School Lenten Reflections can be found on this website.   

 
March 5, 2022
To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at thefriar.org.
 

Remain Faithful

In the Gospel today Jesus talks about the importance of remaining faithful. He says that the sinners strive for righteousness. If someone feels they are making bad decisions, they have the free will to start making good decisions. Jesus is the ultimate sign for repentance and forgiveness.

 

Practices to Remain Faithful

When we make the sign of the cross, we truly believe in the 3 persons of God. The church provides so many different symbols of lent to allow us to reflect on our lives and actions. We practice things like adoration or silent prayer during Lent to take a break from our busy lives and spend time asking for our lives to be filled with happiness. We give up things during Lent to make little sacrifices to replicate the ultimate sacrifice Jesus did. We have prayer services like Stations of the Cross to have a small glimpse of the life of Jesus before his death.

 

Salvation - The Result for Those who Remain Faithful

All these symbols remind us as Christians that we are very fortunate and blessed to have many gifts like free will and salvation. We remember the ones that have come before us and pray that they receive the gift of Heaven. While the time of lent may seem dreary and at times sad, we remember the love and sacrifice Jesus gave for all of us so that we may live in peace. 

Some may see challenges in being faithful. The time of Lent is an ideal time to find your way back to your faith. During the Easter Vigil, we welcome new members into the Church, why not be there to welcome them? I personally find myself being close to my faith when there are quiet times during the school day. I often think about the many blessings I have received and take the time to thank God for all these things.

 

Being Thankful as a way to Remain Faithful

I do this whether it is for my brothers around me or for the teachers that provide me with the great knowledge. Jesus provides great teaching on how to love others and respect the ones we may not be fond of. Some challenges I think people face when being faithful is the lack of commitment of themselves.
 
Many people may struggle with who they are. I know there was a period in my life where I was trying to find my calling and purpose. It is very difficult to love others if you aren’t loving yourself first. Lent can be a great period of time to find a stronger purpose in your life and to grow in your faith journey to spread the love that Jesus did for us.
 
--Jackson Knop
Class of 2022
 
March 4, 2022
To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at www.thefriar.org.
 

Don't Be Sad

Today's High School Lenten Reflection:

Gospel:

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,

“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,

but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn

as long as the bridegroom is with them?

The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,

and then they will fast.”

 

What is the Gospel telling us?

 

Fasting is a sign of mourning and would be as inappropriate at this time of joy, when Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom, as it would be at a marriage feast. Yet the saying looks forward to the time when Jesus will no longer be with the disciples visibly, the time of Matthew’s church. Then they will fast: see Didache 8:1.

 
Take a moment and think about what you can do for yourself and others. You will run across people in your life that may not be doing the good work that you are trying to do. Their time will come, they will realize that something will cause them to fast. Simply sacrificing something small can have a bigger impact for others in need. For example, if you decide you get coffee too much and you are going to give that up for Lent, you are saving money for yourself. With that money you planned on spending, anyway, why don’t you take that money and save it as a donation for a charity? Your small sacrifice can be used to make someone else who may need your kindness, have a much better life.

--Bryce Ernst
Class of 2022
 

March 3, 2022

To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at thefriar.org.
 

Life Will Humble Everyone

When I reflected on the reading for today, the Gospel spoke about denying yourself to take up the cross and follow God. Lent is about focusing on others rather than yourself and repenting for your wrongdoings. Selflessness is a virtue that I have been working on throughout my life. It is something that my mother is proficient in. As I reflected on this gospel, it gave me the idea of something my parents preach to me, which is that life will humble every person.

 

Moving Away from Self

In life, we tend to be self-centered and egotistical. I enjoy partaking in my hobbies, being with friends, and focusing on bettering myself. There is nothing wrong with doing these acts, but when it becomes excessive, it can be harmful to our spiritual health. Spiritual health is fueled by helping others, spending time in silence and boredom, and finding yourself. When we help others, we counteract our main barriers to our truest self, which is the ego. Through silence, we figure out new values and thoughts about ourselves. These acts help us make the most out of lent, help others in our communities, and grow throughout this time.

Good Can Come Out of Suffering

As we go through life, we wrap ourselves up in our own goals and aspirations. We experience successes and feel confident. When we lack tough experiences or suffering, we feel that we are succeeding in life. My belief is that to become closest to our truest selves, we must suffer so that we may grow. Life humbles us in many ways; through suffering, loss, and failing.
 
An example of suffering in my life that has helped me grow into a better version of myself is my digestive problems. I have a moderate to severe issue with my intestines called IBS. This limits the foods I can eat and causes me constant pain in my gut when I lack fiber. In the middle of 6th grade; it took us two years to figure out that I had IBS.
 
Through this experience, I was able to never take food for granted, because there are some foods that I will never be able to eat regularly again without pain. It helped me feel for those who have a hard time paying for food, and those who go through general body issues. Life has humbled me in many other ways, but this is one major issue that for a long time I believed slowed my growth. Through my learning experiences, I believe this is one major growth point that has made me who I am today. So, I end this reflection with two questions- What parts of life are blocking me from becoming my truest self? How has life humbled me?
 
--Gabriel Collins, Class of 2022
 
 
March 2, 2022
 
To listen to this in audio form, go to the chaplain's website at thefriar.org.
 
It All Begins Today
 
Numerous times a day the introduction is the same. "Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God." Every prayer begins this way. And is seems more and more needed in the world today. Things are not as they should be. That is obvious.
 
What is also obvious, if we are willing to admit it, is that much of the messiness in the world is the result of our brokenness. We sin, and the effects of that sin reverberate around the world. Too bad it is not the case we could have a reset button.

Fortunately, there is. There is a reset button, given to us through the love, mercy and forgiveness of Jesus. I would suggest that Lent is a type of spiritual reset button. Through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we have the invitation to start over.

 

Give Your Heart over to God

 

"Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart," says the prophet Joel. The presence of God is always available to us. Even though we sin, if we "rend our hearts", shedding the presence of sin, we can hit that reset button. Today is the day. Now is the time. Do not wait another moment.

 
The secret to this is not some empty set of rules, but rather it is the giving of our heart over to God so that God can fill it with His love.  It is not so that others can see what we do and compliment us. It is the internal change of our heart that is the goal.

Think of the effort you put into improving at things in life. Athletes train, lift weights, condition for better performance. Students in school study and work hard to learn. People put tremendous time into improving at the job. Some work hard to get better at a hobby or some other entertainment.
 

The secret to this is not some empty set of rules, but rather it is the giving of our heart over to God so that God can fill it with His love. It is not so that others can see what we do and compliment us. It is the internal change of our heart that is the goal.

Think of the effort you put into improving at things in life. Athletes train, lift weights, condition for better performance. Students in school study and work hard to learn. People put tremendous time into improving at the job. Some work hard to get better at a hobby or some other entertainment.

 

What Is It We Will Do This Lent?

So now the time has begun. How will you use this season to get to know God better? How will you sacrifice to learn more your dependence upon God and empathize with the sufferings of others? In what ways will your heart be changed so that you can be more generous to those in need?

 

And over the course of this season of Lent, each day, high school students will offer daily reflections. They come from a variety of perspectives, but it is the case they too can help us to see what it is God wants us to do and who God wants us to be. I find they often hit the mark because of their directness and their idealism.

So how will you work this Lent to grow in holiness? Or better asked, what will you do so that you can see how it is God is changing you? How is it God will help transform you, by his love and grace, into the person he has made you to be.

 

Fr. DePorres Durham, OP

Chaplain