Welcome to the St. X resources page for Lent 2022!
Each week, we’ll spotlight something that might help you renew your relationship with God this Lent.
As we move into the holiest week in the Church’s calendar, we’re invited to reflect on what Jesus has done for us and how we’re called to respond.
One way to create a space in your busy life for this kind of reflection is to take a “3-Minute Retreat” each day of Holy Week. Hosted for free by Loyola Press, a Jesuit ministry, each “3-Minute Retreat” features a short Scripture passage, a reflection on the passage, and a couple of questions to ponder. You can find a new one each day here.
Looking for a unique way to mark Good Friday this year? Head downtown to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center for a “Way of the Cross for Justice” starting at Noon on Friday, April 15. After an opening prayer service, all attendees will be instructed on how to pray Stations of the Cross that correspond to each stop on the streetcar route. All participants are then encouraged to complete their prayer by returning to the Freedom Center to write a statement of hope and attach it to a cross. More info can be found here.
This week, our Lenten displays here at St. X invite reflection on sacrifice (drawing on next Sunday’s second reading). Who has sacrificed for us? How do we sacrifice for others? At this stage in the Lenten season, you might stop to think about how your Lenten commitments are going… if you’re sacrificing something concrete (e.g. caffeine, gossip, etc.), how is it going so far? What graces have you seen in your life as a result of this sacrifice?
Traditionally, the season of Lent invites us to pray, fast, and give alms. Given the situation unfolding in the Ukraine, we wanted to highlight two resources from the Jesuit world to help apply these Lenten practices to this devastating current event.
First, here’s a set of Stations of the Cross for Ukraine from Jim McDermott at America. Use these to pray for peace as you complete the ancient practice of meditating on fourteen distinctive moments in Jesus’s journey to the cross.
Second, here’s a link to the Jesuit Refugee Service’s collection where you can give in support of the Jesuits’ ongoing work with Ukrainian refugees.
The Gospel reading this Sunday will take us to the famous story of the woman caught in adultery, a story that invites us to wrestle with our tendency to judge others harshly while we’re simultaneously letting ourselves off the hook. Jesus’ knockout line to his “righteous” questioners, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,” jars them off their moral high horses as they sneak away, one-by-one, until no one remains except Jesus and the woman.
Finding and maintaining a healthy, realistic view of our own shortcomings keeps us from judging others so quickly, but it takes work! This is precisely where St. Ignatius of Loyola’s famous Daily Examen can help… it forces us to slow down, adopt a spirit of gratitude for a few minutes, and take note of how God is working in our daily life.
As Lent continues, try out these 21st century adaptations of St. Ignatius’ classic Examen when you wake up in the morning or before going to sleep at night. They’re conveniently available as a free iPhone app here and free Android app here.
In this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading, we’ll hear the famous story of the prodigal son. As you listen to the reading, pay attention to which character you find yourself identifying with… the restless son who takes off for awhile, the steady son who remains with his family, the father who lets his restless son venture out and welcomes him back with open arm, or perhaps someone else? Ask God to help you understand why you connected with that character and what you can learn from this.
For this week’s resource, we spotlight a new Lenten initiative from the Ignatian Solidarity Network that aims to help us transform our various frustrations from the Covid era into “holy frustrations.” Each day, they feature a reflection that you can either read or listen to as a podcast. Here’s a link to the March 21st edition, which was composed by St. Xavier HS alum, Miles Tiemeyer. On the right side of that page, you can input your email address to receive each day’s reflection as an email.
Our theme for this week is “Listen.” There are a lot of voices out there that compete for our attention on any given day… family, friends, and teachers, along with TV personalities, musicians, podcasters, Youtubers, and more.
Lent is a great time to take a step back to evaluate how this cloud of voices impacts our relationship with God. Are certain voices bringing us closer to God? Do others pull us away from God?
Sometimes, we just need to hear from a fresh voice… so, for this week, we’re highlighting a simple podcast that you can introduce into that mix of voices that you hear each day.
The podcast is called Imagine: A Guide to Jesuit Prayer… each short episode walks you through a guided meditation on a scriptural passage through a process Jesuits call “Ignatian contemplation.” Listen to it on your way into school, during a free bell, or before you head to sleep at night! Find it on Apple Podcasts here or Google Podcasts here.
Updated daily, the app contains the day’s Scripture passage, a short reflection, and a brief prayer for the day. The app also has a feature that allows you to submit a personal prayer request for a team of Jesuits to remember in their prayers. You can also visit the web version of the site here.
You might use this app to start a new habit (or strengthen an existing habit) of taking a few minutes to pray with Scripture when you wake up or when you’re winding down at night.