Tag Archives: Lenten cross

Finish coloring in your Lenten cross!

17 Mar
Click on the image to download your Lenten cross.

Click on the image to download your Lenten cross.

These are the last suggestions for your Lenten cross.

PLANT

  • Plant heirloom or organic seeds.
  • Start annuals from seed instead of buying flats at the greenhouse.

SIMPLIFY

  • Sort through your clothes and shoes. Donate what you don’t need.
  • Minimize the electricity you use for a day. Eat by candlelight.

PRAY

  • Count your blessings. Develop a habit of recognizing ten a day.
  • Pray for an enemy.

READ

  • Read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about her family’s experience of raising their own food for a year.
  • The Year of Mercy continues until November 20. Read Matthew 25.31-46. Go to goodgroundpress.com for a list of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

  • Tell friends and family ways they matter to you.
  • Make family meals or meals with friends a priority. Eat and talk together.

PARTICIPATE

  • Join or start a faith-sharing group or bible study.
  • Participate as a family in a local spring clean-up.

Celebrate Mercy

3 Mar
Click on the image to download your own Lenten cross.

Click on the image to download your own Lenten cross.

When Pope Francis announced the Year of Mercy last April he said, “Wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident.  Wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.”  The Gospels for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent have vivid pictures of mercy.  One more chance for the fig tree.  A party for the sorrowful son, a reprieve for a sinful woman.  Read the Sunday by Sunday reflections on mercy here and let God’s merciful love sink into your heart during the week.

Use any of the following Lenten practices that speak to you.  Add color to your Lenten cross.  Lent is half over!  Easter is near.


There are only three weeks of Lent remaining. Easter is coming as sure as the earth is greening and flowers are poking up through the dirt. Take time this week to follow one or more of the Lenten practices below. Color your Lenten cross if you have downloaded one.

PLANT

  • Treat yourself to a flowering plant or bulb that will flower soon.
  • Make plans for a garden. Get a child to help you.

SIMPLIFY

  • Forgive a debt.
  • Remove three things from your living area – each day!

PRAY

  • Thank God for all you have learned from a painful failure.
  • Take a page of your address book and pray for everyone there.

READ

  • Read chapter 1 of the book of Genesis. Spend the day complimenting God as you notice the “very good” work of creation around you.
  • Look over the Seder supper. Gather a group of friends to celebrate a Seder meal.

FAMILY and FRIENDS

  • Walk and talk with a grandchild or grandparent.
  • Plan to send Easter cards.

PARTICIPATE

  • Skip the Easter candy and give a flock on chicks to your children or grandchildren instead. Go to heifer.org to find out how to make this gift.
  • Make an Easter gift to Catholic Charities.

Moving On In Lent

25 Feb
Click on the image to download your free Lenten cross.

Click on the image to download your free Lenten cross.

The parable of the fig tree reveals God’s hope and compassion for people. The gardener, who cares for each tree, pleads for more time and more care. Leave it for another year. A little loosening and manuring of the soil, a little more nourishment, and maybe it will bear fruit. Think this week about what fruit you want to bear.

Following are suggestions for actions to do that will add color to your Lenten cross.

PLANT

  • Buy a crocus. It will remind you to notice the Earth rejuvenating itself.
  • Plant an indoor herb garden on your windowsill.

SIMPLIFY

  • Fast from fast food.
  • Fast from too much television. Give a dime to Catholic Relief Services (crs.org) for every commercial you see this week.

PRAY

  • Pray with the people of God as often as you can during Lent by going to daily Eucharist.
  • Wash your windows and thank God for what you see more clearly.

READ

  • Read God’s promise to the people in Jeremiah 31.31-34. What do you want inscribed on your heart?
  • You can look up poems on the internet by searching just a few words you remember. Rediscover a poem that meant something to you in the past. Use it to pray.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

  • Compliment colleagues and coworkers on ways they do their jobs and on how their work matters to the whole enterprise.
  • Talk more, or talk less.

PARTICIPATE

  • Take part in a group that provides families in poverty with needed household supplies and furniture.
  • Volunteer to tutor immigrants in English.

Lent Is A Time To Shine

18 Feb
Lentcrossweek3

Click on the image to download your Lenten cross.

The light of God showing through Jesus bedazzles his disciples in Sunday’s gospel of the Transfiguration, giving us a glimpse of Easter early in Lent. The Transfiguration calls us to our Lenten transformation into Christ, to shine with love of every neighbor.

Spring also calls us to the new life of Easter. Sunlight blesses us daily with vitamin D as it warms Earth. Trees and plants awaken for their invisible daily miracle of transforming sunlight into the air we breathe.

Let us praise God for all the warmth others spread in our lives — the lady who let us ahead in the supermarket line, the man who holds the door open, the baby who giggles at us over his mother’s shoulder. Like air and light these nearly invisible small acts shine and warm our community. We have lie as a gift from God to share in love.

If you have downloaded our Lenten cross, the following are suggestions for coloring it in. It’s not too late to start this activity with your family.

PLANT

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 1 on your Lenten cross green.

  • Plant a tree.
  • Plant grasses and flowers on your boulevard or in your yard. A patch of prairie provides seeds for birds.

SIMPLIFY

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 2 on your Lenten cross yellow.

  • Try a vegetarian food or recipe this week.
  • Clean unneeded clothes and shoes out of your closet. Donate what is good.

PRAY

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 3 on your Lenten cross purple.

  • Take time for silence. Breathe in, saying, “Spirit of God with me.” Breathe out, saying, “Spirit of Love in me.”
  • Begin a family meal by having each person state a hope for the whole human family.

READ

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 4 on your Lenten cross blue.

  • Visit the Half the Sky movement to read about their initiatives to end human trafficking.
  • Read Matthew 25.31-46 to find out where we can find Jesus any day.

FAMILY and FRIENDS

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 5 on your Lenten cross red.

  • Give up a grudge, an imagined enemy, or an old hurt. Pursue happiness.
  • Call or email your oldest friend to say thanks for years of love and loyalty.

PARTICIPATE

When you do one of these activities, color a space marked 6 on your Lenten cross orange.

  • Volunteer to tutor kids or help people with groceries.
  • Imagine celebrating your next birthday by asking your friends to join you in a project that serves others, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen. Start planning.
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