Guide to Goodness

Have you started thinking about Lent? 

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, is just two weeks away. Have you started contemplating how you will enter this penitential season and spend 40 days uniting your heart with Jesus’?  Through the good works of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, God prunes our hearts as we are united to Christ and his suffering.  These practices give us the strength to resist sin and follow the counter cultural path of love.  If we open our heart and hear God’s word, we learn how Jesus, exposed in his humanity, rejects sin when confronted with temptations and seeks solace in God the Father.  This serves as an example for us in our own personal deserts. 

There are many great resources out there to help guide your Lenten journey.  Here are a few to explore to begin preparing your heart to determine what is best for you in journey through Lent:

Blessed is She invites us to travel along the road of our interior poverty this Lent and to embrace our utter dependence on God with All She Had  Lent 2022 Devotional. In this fresh devotional, we will find ourselves gently guided through six poverties: of promise, of desire, of security, poverty of hope, poverty of control, poverty of intimacy and poverty of everything.

My spiritual buddy gave me this Magnificat Lenten Journey Companion which I will enjoy along with the Word on Fire reflections. Along with Day by Day Finding God’s Goodness meditations.

Walking with Purpose helps to prepare your heart for the triumph of resurrection through several short, powerful bible studies:

  • Looking to feel revived and refreshed as you grow in the knowledge that you are loved? Choose Living In The Father’s Love.
  • Need to be awakened to the reality of who you are in Christ? Choose Fearless and Free
  • Desire to learn how all Scripture points to Jesus, and recognize and appreciate God’s plan for your own life? Choose Beholding His Glory.   
  • Want to counter feeling weighed down by a culture that all too often leaves us feeling empty and dissatisfied? Choose Beholding Your King.   

Dynamic Catholic continues their Best Lent Ever series and you can sign up for free.  This year, for the first time ever, Dynamic Catholic is offering two options for Best Lent Ever. Every day, you will receive two short, practical, and inspiring videos in your inbox, each representing a pathway leading toward a better version of you and a closer relationship with God. Why did they double up? Well, the world has changed. We have changed. And to offer a truly transformative experience, they developed two pathways designed specifically to meet us where we are, no matter where we are in your spiritual journey.

Good Catholic invites us to deepen our relationship with Christ this lent. Being a Christian means imitating Christ. But how can we imitate Him if we don’t personally know Him? Discover Jesus’ works, loves, joys, and sorrows in The Life of Christ so that you can follow Him more closely. Change Your Life By Studying His. You can learn more here.

We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. 

Hebrews 10:23-24

Pope Francis says, the word of God consoles and encourages us. At the same time, it summons us to conversion, challenges us, frees us from the bondage of our selfishness. For His word has the power to change our lives and to lead us out of darkness into the light.

Let’s use this Lent to walk further into the light finding God’s goodness!

Cynthia

Inspiration

Pruning Hearts

Today’s post, on this second Sunday of Lent, is written by a guest contributor Melanie Boutiette.  Melanie is my sister, mother figure, and friend.  I am pleased to introduce you to her and an article from her blog Just Beloved, Words of Encouragement for you!

I love to garden. I love digging my hands in the rich soil, planting beautiful flowers, and transforming a once barren area into a beautiful bed or landscape. The whole yard is filled with a variety of flowers and plants. I especially love the front of the house. I have an English garden there that once was just an ugly plot of ground after disease destroyed all the bushes and plants. To look at my yard right now in the dead of winter, you cannot tell that I love to garden.

Continue reading “Pruning Hearts”
Guide to Goodness

Are You Perfectly Merciful?

Return to me with your whole heart for I am gracious and merciful

During this third Sunday of Lent as I continue wandering in the desert of my soul, I am very grateful for God’s endless mercy and graciousness.  As the Master Gardener pulls the sinful weeds that crowd out the flowers of beauty, my Creator is pruning my heart for beauty to burst forth!  Ouch!

Continue reading “Are You Perfectly Merciful?”
Inspiration

What Are You Thirsting For?

In this first week of Lent, I am realizing how my heart is being purified to be undivided.  It has been a challenging week where we truly entered the frigid desert here in Texas with a historic storm that crippled our infrastructure.  This arctic storm took away our power and electricity, water, internet, and spotty phone service.  To whom did I turn?

Continue reading “What Are You Thirsting For?”
Guide to Goodness

Hope is Not Canceled

Today’s post is written by a guest contributor Jacquelyne Rocan. Jacquelyne has been a spiritual sister to me throughout the years and I am pleased to introduce you to her!

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and I find myself recalling this time last year.  While there were certainly reports of the new coronavirus circulating in more and more communities, I celebrated Ash Wednesday in 2020 in many of the same ways that I have always marked that day — attending Mass, receiving ashes on my forehead, fasting, and setting in place plans for experiencing a holy and spiritual Lenten season.  This included plans for additional prayers, readings, and attending Stations of the Cross.  I marked times for all of the Holy Week services on my calendar — the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday Mass, Good Friday service, and Easter Vigil Mass.  It was important to me to fully participate and prepare by attending these services, as much as I could (especially through many years of serving on the RCIA team in my parish).  My Lenten and Easter seasons have felt incomplete when I have been unable to prepare and attend the Easter Triduum services.

Continue reading “Hope is Not Canceled”
Guide to Goodness

Are You A Giver Or A Taker?

I recently listened to organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s podcast about Givers and Takers where he breaks down three personalities and offers simple strategies to promote a culture of generosity in the workplace.  It was validating to know that the givers win out in affecting positive culture and increased results. Go figure!

Continue reading “Are You A Giver Or A Taker?”
Guide to Goodness

Prayer is Allowing God to Love You

In last week’s blog, I talked about growing in good works through prayer, fasting and service and how they unite us to Christ.  These are the three tools we have in our spiritual toolbox to resist sin and follow the path of true love.  I find Lent is a perfect time to examine my choices and search the desert within me to evaluate my motivations.  I can learn, with God’s grace, where I am flirting with darkness and then make a conscious decision to snuggle up with my Creator instead of turning to the fleeting relief the world provides.  Prayer helps me see my life as God sees it and assures me I am loved.

Continue reading “Prayer is Allowing God to Love You”
Inspiration

Growing In Good Works

I hope this post finds you settling into your word of the year as well as having a plan mapped out to get to know your Saint buddy. My prayer time this week included a plea for guidance on how to best get to know mine, St. Joseph. The next day, I was listening to the Godsplaining podcast and low and behold, they were discussing the Year of St. Joseph. This conversation gave me a good starting point for my plan. I love how God works! Do you have a plan to nourish your mind this year? Another practice I wanted to share that supports my growth is identifying twelve books that will challenge my thinking. Getting through this stack feels good when I complete in December.

Have you started thinking about Lent? 

Continue reading “Growing In Good Works”