Let God Surprise you during Lent

by | Jan 28, 2016 | News | 5 comments

lenten-calendar-scnj-facebookFather Terrence Moran offers this calendar: “A Lenten Journey in the Jubilee Year of Mercy” as a prayer/reflection/suggestion for action for each day of Lent. It is from the Office of Peace, Justice and Ecological Integrity of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.

In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. ~ Pope Francis

Members of the Vincentian Family will note that the first entry begins with the text that meant so much to Vincent.

Lenten Calendar 2016


10 Ash Wednesday – Read the jubilee proclamation of Jesus in Luke 4:15-30. How will your Lent live out this passage of scripture?

11 Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes/World Day of the Sick – Send a card to someone who is sick; plan to visit someone in the hospital or nursing home.

12 Fast from judging others; feast on God dwelling in them.

13 Do some spring cleaning. Get rid of one unnecessary possession each day between now and Easter.

14 First Sunday of Lent

How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst! ~ Pope Francis

15 Have mercy on Earth by a “water fast” – flush your toilet half as often as you normally would. Many people in the world have access only to as much water as we use in one flush.

16 See how many people you can compliment today.

17 Over 90,000 Americans have died in gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Meditate on that number; contemplate those people.

18 Be an instrument of Mercy by doing a random act of kindness.

19 Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.

20 Imagine a world in which justice and peace prevail. Imagine a world in which every person has equal access to rights, goods and services. Imagine a world in which people, as only one part of the interconnected community of the cosmos, collaborate in the ongoing creation of Earth.

21 Second Sunday of Lent –

The signs Jesus works, especially in favor of sinners, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the suffering, are all meant to teach mercy. Everything in him speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion. ~ Pope Francis

22 Read the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy – how will you incorporate them into your Lenten practice during this Year of Mercy?

23 Carl Jung said, “I have had to climb down ten thousand ladders so that at the end of my life I can reach out the hand of friendship to this little clod of earth that I am.” What can you do to be merciful to yourself? Try to silence or ignore your inner critic today.

24 Have mercy on the air by seeing how you can reduce your car usage by combining trips this week.

25 What is something that you love to do that you haven’t done in months? Do it!

26 Make a pilgrimage through your house/room. Linger over your cherished objects and pray for the people whose memory they evoke.

27 Breathe deeply and reflect on the words of Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins: “I say that we are wound, With mercy round and round, As if with air.”

28 Third Sunday of Lent

In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy. ~ Pope Francis

29 A Ukrainian folk tale says that God gave St. John Cassian a feast day only once every four years on Feb. 29 because he hesitated to help the poor because he didn’t want to sully his vestments. What trivial concerns prevent us from mercy toward those made poor?

Click here to download as a PDF: Lenten Calendar 2016

Tags: Lent 2016


  1. Lynn L'Heureux

    Thank you for this article. A practical Fast and reflection. It is like having a personal garage sale or spring cleaning.

  2. Joan Walsh Schildwachter

    This is such a down-to-earth,varied list of simple things to do for oneself as well as others to make Lent a time of atonement and growth and joy. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Peg Baumgartner

    Tried to print this list up, but had difficulty- chopped off title, bottom and top of each page.
    Only allowed two pages to print, but all did not fit. Could not adjust for printing correctly.
    Any help on that?
    Imaginative and simple list of good practices and ideas for Lent– Vincentian Family
    Peg Baumgartner

    • John Freund, CM

      Prints well for me using the Print icon at the bottom of the post. Did you perhaps try some variation of Control P?

  4. Peg Baumgartner

    Thanks I will try that. I think I used the Print at the top of my computer to print it.
    Peggy Baumgartner