In addition to the wildly popular “Bible in a Year” Podcast, Great Adventure Bible and accompanying reflection journal, Ascension offers a lent bundle including the “No Greater Love” starter pack, the Lenten Companion Book and DVD, and the Way of the Cross Booklet for $95. People who are looking for a different challenge during Lent can take a quiz on the website to be matched with one of their more than 60 study programs.
Catholic Relief Services (https://www.crsricebowl.org)
Operation Rice Bowl is back for another year. Seventy-five percent of the funds collected through the Lenten almsgiving go to serve the work of CRS throughout the world, while 25 percent remains in each diocese to help alleviate hunger and poverty at home. On the website, there are videos that offer a glimpse into the work being done in Guatemala, Bangladesh and Rwanda, as well as meatless recipes for your Fridays.
The “Catholic Faith on Demand” offers thousands of movies, programs, audio and books. The Daily Reflections with Dr. Tim Gray (approximately five minutes in length each) are an easy way to begin the day in prayer. Many parishes throughout the archdiocese offer free memberships to their parishioners. Check with your formation ministers to see if yours is one of them.
Hallow (Free App available in Apple and Google Play, Plus Subscription costs $8.99 per month or $59.99 per year)
This year’s #Pray40 guides listeners through The Last Seven Words of Christ and includes: Daily meditations, writings from Venerable Fulton Sheen, meditations on the Sunday Gospels, Stations of the Cross, weekly litanies, collections of psalms and petitions. Actors Jonathan Roumie (The Chosen) and Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) lend their voices to the meditations. Kids’ content is also available.
Loyola Press (https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/lent/)
In addition to 20 seasonal articles, such as “Discernment in Making Lenten Plans” and “Wandering into the Sweetness of Lent,” the Loyola Press Website has video reflections, online retreats and prayers. There is also a Lenten read-along of Braving the Thin Places: Celtic Wisdom to Create a Space for Grace (Paperback, $15.99) by Julianne Stanz, who serves as director of parish life and evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay. Readers can download a free reading schedule to participate.
Our Sunday Visitor (https://www.osvcatholicbookstore.com)
Sign up to receive daily reflection emails throughout lent. For $3.95, people can also order the “My Daily Visitor” book by Patrick Mary Briscoe, O.P., which helps readers to begin each day with “quick and easy Scripture-focused reflection, prayer, and achievable actions to make the most of Lent.”
Pray More Lenten Retreat (https://praymoreretreat.org)
John-Paul and Annie Deddens, the couple behind Pray More Novenas, is back with another self-guided Lenten retreat. This year’s speakers are: Karen May, Dr. Scott Powell, Emily Jaminet, Mary Lenaburg and Fr. Taylor Reynolds. This year’s journey includes 20 talks. Each talk includes a transcript, a study guide, and downloadable audio and video, complete with closed captioning. The retreat is a pay-what-you-are-able experience.
Restore: A Guided Lent Journal for Prayer and Meditation (Ave Maria Press, $13.95)
Sr. Miriam James Heidland, S.O.L.T., offers a journey of healing that begins on Ash Wednesday and focuses on the reader’s relationship with God, themselves and others through the Catholic lens of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The journal features original art by Valerie Delgado of Pax.Valerie (Instagram), along with daily meditations by Sr. Miriam on a passage from scripture, reflection questions, guided prayer, and space for journaling and notetaking. Companion videos for each of the six Sundays of Lent will be available on AveMariaPress.com.
In addition to explanations on the fasting and abstinence guidelines, a pastoral exhortation on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, and a brief examination of conscience, a free PDF calendar with daily reflections and inspiration is available for download.
Word on Fire Ministries
Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Ministries has an entire compendium of homilies, videos, digital courses, articles, and more. He offered a challenge in 2020 that many of us can still use today: “Might I urge all of my readers to call to mind an enemy? Hold an image of him or her in your mind — someone who has done you real harm. This Lent, contrive a way to love that person, to heal that relationship. It might be a phone call, an email, a visit, a gesture — but as a salutary Lenten practice, do it.”