Showing posts with label Lent and Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent and Easter. Show all posts

8 Apr 2017

You Cannot Fail at Lent


Plans are Meant to be Altered

All over social media, those still left after the Lenten Exodus, people are confessing to their inability to keep their Lenten promises.  According to Facebook and Twitter, there has been lots of coffee drunk, chocolate eaten, swears said, and prayer time skipped.  The hashtag #LentenFail started showing up just a day into the liturgical season.  The #LentFail numbers grew again after bacon bits, chicken broth and unintentional "Oh no, I totally forgot it was Lent" hamburger consumption on the first Friday of Lent.

Here is the good news. YOU Cannot Fail Lent.  It is not a test. Lent is a time of looking at our lives and trying new ways to grow closer to Christ.  Through prayer, fasting and charity, these forty days can be used to challenge our current choices and behaviors, and try on new ones.    The fasting, prayer and alms we take on for Lent, can also enhance our lives well beyond Easter ... read more for ideas on how and extra encouragement 

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

7 Apr 2017

Gifts Not Being Used are Simply Useless


Prayer is a Gift that is Only Useful when Being Used
When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads:
“Rejoice always;
pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit 

All Rights Reserved. Allison Gingras 2017

22 Mar 2016

Have the Last 40 Days Changed You?



Holy Week is here ... Lent 2016 will soon be done

But am I any different than when it all began 40 plus days ago?

Did my Lenten sacrifices - prayers, almsgiving and fasting - transform me? Did they prepare me for the coming Triduum s(Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) services? Most importantly have the readied my heart to rise again with Jesus on Easter -- a new creation in Christ?
Lent and the expectation of the coming of Spring, maybe because I live in a seasonal location, have always co-existed in my heart. Lent starts often in the harshness of winter - cold, long, dark nights. Easter arrives after daylight savings and (usually) the last snow fall. Flowers and trees are budding, maybe even flowering, and there is an emerging from the cocoon like feel to the world.
But have I changed? Has this time of no television, extra prayer and attention to participating in the Sacraments, awoken something in my heart. 

 What will my spiritual practices look like going forward?   Here are 3 Quick Takeaways from #Lent2016 ... READ MORE

All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2016

31 Mar 2015

“Late have I loved you …” St. Augustine’s dive below the surface

"Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."

from The Confessions of Saint Augustine

This prayer of St. Augustine reminded me that it’s not enough to ride on the surface of life.
Click here to continue.

16 Mar 2015

My traveling companions for the Lenten journey





I decided this Lent that I would not travel alone. I asked St. Bernadette, the visionary of Our Lady of Lourdes, if she would accompany me.


In the course of our walk together I am rediscovering someone I had long forgotten but who has not forgotten me.

A classic movie

It began on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes with a suggestion from a friend to watch “The Song of Bernadette,” a critically-acclaimed 1943 movie based on the book by Franz Werfel. It was available on YouTube so I could watch it at my leisure. The movie is long so I viewed it on my tablet over the course of three nights.

Unexpected emotions

That was a good decision. I did not expect to be so moved by the film and was glad I could cry in private. Each time "The Lady" appeared to Bernadette, the tears would flow. I did not know why. Was it the beautiful music? Was it the way Bernadette (played by Oscar winner Jennifer Jones) looked at "The Lady" with such love?

Maybe it was because of Mary herself. Perhaps my heart was telling me how much I missed her in my life ... click here to continue.

Advent: A Time for Healing and Forgiveness

Most people think of Advent as the time for preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of Christ; when Jesus entered humanity. A...