Celebration Article

There’s This Thing About Lent

Conversion comes in its own time and on its own terms

There’s this thing about Lent: It’s not just a neat six weeks in the spring of the year that gets you all holy and housecleaned in time for Easter. Lent can also creep up behind you and take you by surprise at any point on the calendar of your life. Bam! And life will never be the same again.

Easter on the Texas Panhandle

A faded photograph testifies to an undying faith

An ancient tradition says that the tree on which Jesus hung was set in the same ground where Adam lay buried. In a place of thorns and thistles planted by Adam’s sin, Jesus forgives the thief his sins, and, so, all of the thieves — that is, all of us. It is an image of the truth we proclaim, that God brings the rich fruit of mercy even from the barren soil of our sin. Even in a harsh land, even to an arid plain, Christ comes to set us free.

Children and Lent

Adults have much to learn from children about how to do Lent

By Doris Murphy

Recently, while interviewing children for their first Reconciliation, I asked Tommy what “penance” was. He answered without hesitation: “It’s sort of like a time-out.”

Unleash the Burning Fire in Our Bones

Doing the work of ritual, language, song and dance by heart

The sine qua non of a community’s rituals — little ones and enormous ones — are the way they belong to all present. That is what ritual must be, whether it is this entire time between Ash Wednesday to Pentecost in the assembly’s life in church and out, or simply the chanting and movement of each Sunday’s procession to our holy Communion. Ritual belongs to all, needs all.

Mark: Passing on the story of the Son of God

Darkness covered the face of the known world.

The Roman Empire, in all its power and majesty and terrifying grandeur, reigned supreme. Demons were perceived to be everywhere — in the incessant warfare, in the dire poverty, in the presence of incurable bodily illnesses, in the mental struggles that completely baffled everyone.

Many believed that all this suffering and sorrow signaled the beginning of the “end times.”