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Lenten Cyber Retreat - 2017 (Fr. Tim Hayes, EGL 1)


Lenten Cyber Retreat - 2017 (Fr. Tim Hayes, EGL 1)

LENT & EASTER CYBER RETREAT 2017-- OUTLINE                               2/28 March 1 - April 23, 2017   

I propose a Cyber Retreat for the Seasons of the Paschal Mystery, Lent and Easter.    It is adaptable in any way that fits your own need.  The only “requirement” is that you pray for those who join you.    This year’s retreat begins, Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017, and concludes Divine Mercy Sunday, April 23, 2017.   

Theme:  Living the Sacramental Life in order to open to God’s Healing Mercy   

Our world is in need of God’s Healing Mercy.  The call to unity with God invites us to make a choice for God and to live as a witness to the power of His grace in our lives.  The Sacraments of the Church provide the ordinary means of grace, God’s Healing Mercy offered to us to sustain and to free us to live as witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit among us.  Let us take this sacred time of Lent and Easter to open fully to the grace that is offered through the Sacraments.   

Some aids online for Lent 2017   

Notes on Fatima – in preparation for the 100th Anniversary:   

Our Blessed Mother appeared to the three children Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, in Fatima in 1917.  This year we will observe the 100th Anniversary of the apparitions and the call to prayer and penance that offers a “peace plan” for the world.  The Rosary was the form of prayer especially recommended.  This may be highlighted each day by praying a set of the Mysteries.  Also, particular Mysteries can be contemplated each day of Lent and Easter.   

At the last apparition on October 13, 1971, the Holy Family, and in particular, St. Joseph was offered as a sign of God’s blessing.  As we live this retreat, let us keep St. Joseph and the Holy Family in mind and respond to the call to live as God’s family, inviting others to respond to His grace.   

Prayers to St. Joseph:        

Focus on the Sacraments for Each Week   

Lent Week I                            Baptism 
Lent Week II                           Confirmation
Lent Week III                         Eucharist
Lent Week IV                         Reconciliation
Lent Week V                           Anointing of the Sick
Lent Week VI                         Holy Orders
Easter                                      Holy Matrimony
Divine Mercy Sunday             The Power of Sacramental Living                                      

Image of St. Joseph for Each Week  
Lent Week I                            The Just Man
Lent Week II                           The Silence of Joseph
Lent Week III                         The Dreamer
Lent Week IV                         The Worker
Lent Week V                           Guardian of the Holy Family
Lent Week VI                         Foster Father of Jesus
Easter                                      Husband of Mary
Divine Mercy Sunday             Universal Patron   

Mysteries of the Rosary for Each Day  
Monday:                                 The Joyful Mysteries
Tuesday:                                 The Sorrowful Mysteries
Wednesday:                            The Glorious Mysteries
Thursday:                               The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light)
Friday:                                    The Sorrowful Mysteries
Saturday:                                The Joyful Mysteries
Sunday:                                  The Glorious Mysteries   

Questions to consider each week:   

How do the Sacraments form me as a witness to the Gospel? 
What new insights do the Sacraments offer me as I seek to know God better?
Where do I experience healing in the Sacraments?
Who is waiting for my invitation to share the Sacramental Life of the Church?
What new commitment is the Lord asking of me through the Sacraments I live?  
How do the witness of St. Joseph and model of the Holy Family encourage me to persevere?  
What Mystery of the Rosary touches me in a particular way this week? 

 For your own planning, each week:               

Find a form of Prayer – opening to Christ’s Gift of Himself.  Read and ponder the Sacred Scriptures.  Attend a celebration of the Stations of the Cross in a local parish.  Spend some time in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.               

Find a manner of Fasting – entering into the act of self-emptying.  Consider several different ways to fast; all are invited to find their own level: 

* Abstain from meat;
* Eat only one large meal (no snacks); 
* Experience a total fast (no food at all);
* Fast during daylight hours;
* Fast from certain activities or behaviors.   

Respond to the call to Almsgiving – making an offering of self.  Give alms, sharing materially and personally what God has given you with someone in need.  Choose a personal charity or find an action that “costs” you something personally.   

Let us live this Lent with the intention to draw close to the God Who seeks to be closer to us and to pray for the triumph of God’s Justice in our broken world.   Led into the desert, let us cooperate with works of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, to grow in the grace that is needed for our time and in our capacity to fast in order to open space for God.   

Overall Petition for the Cyber Retreat 

That faithful sharing in the Sacramental Life of the Church may form us all to be a clear witness of the truth of the Gospel and of the power of the Spirit of Jesus to bring light and healing to our world.   

Petitions for Each Week of Lent Week I   –        That all who receive the Sacraments may grow in awareness of their power to increase our capacity to live the Gospel.   

Week II –        That our understanding of the Living Presence of Jesus in our encounter with Him in the Sacraments may free us to approach them with eager longing.   

Week III –      That all who follow Jesus may recognize His Presence when we gather in His Name.   

Week IV –      That all parents may realize their responsibility to teach their children in the ways of Faith by word and example.   

Week V –        That each new generation may respond to the invitation to seek first the Kingdom of God and to practice the Faith through participation in the Sacramental Life of the Church.   

Week VI –      That all who approach the Easter Sacraments may be filled with joy and become a reminder to the whole world that Jesus is alive in us.     

Resources for Lent from the US Catholic Bishops:  

Pope Francis’ Lenten Message: 

LENTEN CYBER RETREAT - Prelude 2/28   

Overall Petition for the Cyber Retreat That faithful sharing in the Sacramental Life of the Church may form us all to be a clear witness of the truth of the Gospel and of the power of the Spirit of Jesus to bring light and healing to our world.   

In this week of Ash Wednesday, we enter into the Season of Lent with a public witness of our need for God’s Mercy.  Sinners though we are, we join together to express our common desire to be converted and to renew our commitment to living the Gospel.   

Ash Wednesday Readings:   

3/ 1 ASH WEDNESDAY:  Attend Mass and receive the imposition of ashes to acknowledge your need for conversion.  Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.  Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel. Consider the Question:  What practices of Prayer will be a part of my observance of Lent? 

Matthew 6:6 “. . . When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” 

3/ 2 THURSDAY:  Consider the Question:  What forms of Fasting and self-discipline will I use in order to learn to be obedient to the Lord and to His commands?   

Matthew 6:17-18 “. . . When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”   

3/ 3 FRIDAY: Consider the question: What works of charity and Almsgiving will be part of my journey through Lent?   

Matthew 6:3-4 “. . . When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”   

Joel 2:12-13 “Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God.”   

Abstinence from meat with the whole Church.  Reflect on the holiness to which you are called.  Participate in a Lenten Fish Fry and the Stations of the Cross or other devotions for Lent.   

II Corinthians 5:20-21  “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”   

3/ 4 SATURDAY: Attend Mass for the First Saturday, a request of Our Lady of Fatima.  Ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede for you as you walk the journey of Lent.   Seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in your resolve to be open to the call to conversion.   

3/ 5 SUNDAY:  Worship with the community.  Pray for the Catechumens and Candidates for Full Communion in the Catholic Church as they experience the Rite of Election, being called to the Easter Sacraments.   

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