Tone up spiritually this Lent and Easter
"Women know intuitively that we grow with the encouragement of like-minded souls.”
By Jeanne Hunt
St. Anthony Messenger Press
Women know in their bones that we are meant to make our spiritual walk in the company of other women. Whether we walk together in parish small groups, book clubs, exercise workouts, grief support groups, soup kitchens or coffee klatches, we know intuitively that we grow with the encouragement of like-minded souls.
That’s why the Called to Holiness series for women is such a perfect walking partner for women: It provides women a fresh source of spiritual energy, and it offers catechists and directors of religious education new spiritual muscle for parish and diocesan adult faith formation programs during Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost. Written from the hearts of thoughtful, soulful women, the Called to Holiness books hold a gym-bag full of grace for all women who want to tone up spiritually this Lent and Easter.
Consider adopting or adapting a few of my favorite ideas for integrating the Called to Holiness books into your parish or diocesan adult faith formation programs during Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost:
- The silence of Lent is a wonderful time to rediscover prayer, so gather the women of your parish for six sessions of prayer during Lent. An early Saturday morning is a perfect time for young mothers to leave the family while fathers are home.
- Use Awakening to Prayer: A Woman’s Perspective to create one-hour sessions that begin with a reflective quote from the book and then move into a short discussion using the questions at each chapter’s end. Then spend the rest of the time in a circle of prayer. End the gathering with a song from the Called to Holiness companion music CD.
- The RCIA dismissals during Lent are an excellent time to use Making Sense of God: A Woman’s Perspective in collaboration with the cycle A Gospels. Give the book to the catechumens as a Rite of Elect gift. Ask the elect to read this book as their special Lenten task and to bring their thoughts to the dismissal gatherings.
- Holy Week is a time to join our suffering with the suffering and death of Jesus. Prepare little Easter baskets for the women in the parish who are grieving. Place a copy of Grieving With Grace: A Woman’s Perspective in the basket, along with a note of support and prayer from the parish. Invite the women who receive the baskets to come together after Easter to share their pain and talk about the book.
- Use Living a Spirituality of Action: A Woman’s Perspective as the small faith group focus after Easter. Ask each member of the group to take one chapter and lead the discussion based on her experience and understanding of the just life. At the end of the Easter sessions, plan an outreach event for the group that lives out what was discussed.
- Embracing Latina Spirituality: A Woman’s Perspective is a wonderful inspiration for Pentecost. Plan a parish retreat day that uses this Latina energy to express the fire of God’s love. Discuss the book or invite a neighboring Hispanic community to discuss it with you. Close the day with a Latina meal and a songfest around a roaring outdoor bonfire.