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Resources for Lent (Year B)

Washing the dust from our souls

Soul (n):
The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. (Oxford Dictionary)

Pablo Picasso is famously quoted as describing the purpose of art as “washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” The idea of the soul is etched into the history of faithful people - at death we pray that the soul of the faithful departed will rest in peace.
The Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation (Melbourne) has prepared a range of Lent resources with this in mind – perhaps we could think of Lent this year as an opportunity to consciously place God at the centre of our minds and hearts. A time of gentle retreat enabling some important soul work to be undertaken. Catholics have some sign posts along the way to help with this task: the stories of the ancestors and the Lenten practices with which we are so familiar: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
These resources have been prepared to assist with journeying through these Lent days more prayerfully and to encourage a simpler and more generous approach to our days:

Praying with Psalms (Lectio Divina) 

For those interested in Lectio Divina, weekly reflections which focus on the psalm for each Sunday in lent have been prepared by Sr Mary Reaburn nds. The Psalms provide a window for us to enter into prayer with Jesus and the reflections are suitable for individual and group use. 

Weekly Gospel Reflections 

This year the Sunday Lent readings are drawn from Year B of the Lectionary cycle and Cathy Jenkins has prepared a weekly prayer reflection which draws from the Sunday gospel. These prayer sheets are suitable for individual or group use. 

Stations of the Cross 

For many, the stations of the cross is an important part of their Lenten devotions. This is a scripture-based Way of the Cross based on the Gospel of Mark.

24-hours for the Lord (resource pack) 

This global initiative happens again on the third weekend of Lent (9-11 March), and this resource pack contains suggested prayers, activities, bookmarks and more for parishes to use locally. Note: Click here to view the 'Stewards of Forgiveness' video reflections >  

40-day Lenten Calendar

For people on the go who wish to carry the thread of Lent into their days: a 40 day calendar with a short daily reflection. 

Sample outline for a Penitential Rite


Liturgical planning: Checklist for the Triduum


Templates (real estate boards) 

A selection of 10 real estate board designs (1200mm x 1800mm), ideal for for parishes wanting to promote Lent/Holy Week/Easter services. (Note: All 10 designs contained in the one file. Be sure to scroll down to view all designs!)  

Podcast series (available weekly from Ash Wednesday)

Available weekly, these audio recordings provide listeners with a reading of the Sunday gospel (by Bishop Mark Edwards OMI), followed by a brief reflection from a range of theologians, musicians and writers. These recordings can be downloaded and saved for easy listening at any time.
[Click on the play button above to listen, or to download and listen later, click on the download button in the top-right corner]
Week 1: Jesus in the wilderness
Fr Steven Rigo reflects on Jesus' time in the wilderness and what we can gain from his experience. "How to visit and remain in what I could call a spiritual wilderness that yields creative possibilities is an art that, with practice, all of us could learn. ... There is always Good News that comes out of the wilderness times of our lives. Each time we are able to meet the challenge in the wilderness it helps prepare us for the next challenge that is to come."
[Click on the play button above to listen, or to download and listen later, click on the download button in the top-right corner]
Week 2: The Transfiguration
Deacon Jim Curtain reflects on the experience of the disciples upon the mountaintop with Jesus."They came face-to-face with perfect love... and when that happens, it's going to bowl you over totally."

[Click on the play button above to listen, or to download and listen later, click on the download button in the top-right corner]
Week 3: Jesus in the temple
This week's audio is a conversation with teacher and musician, Fiona M. Dyball, who shares her insights into the rich imagery of this gospel reading as well as her 'sounds of Lent'. It might be hard for us to imagine what sort of a world Jesus walked into in this gospel. It is just before Passover, so the Temple would have been crowded with people. The challenging aspect of this was that the Temple was being treated as a marketplace. The religious world and the commercial world were colliding. As we journey with John’s gospel as our guide we are entering a gospel world that is rich in symbolism, offering a complex way of thinking about Jesus and the world.
[Click on the play button above to listen, or to download and listen later, click on the download button in the top-right corner]
Week 4: "God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son"
This week's reflection is provided by Cathy Jenkins (Director, Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation), who encourages listeners to believe in world where the love of God is present in every aspect of our lives – a reminder that no matter what, love is always greater than hate. ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’ (Martin Luther King Jr)
[Click on the play button above to listen, or to download and listen later, click on the download button in the top-right corner]
Week 5: "Developing a Paschal Mindset"
This week, Fr Anthony McSweeney SSS reflects on the "Paschal mindset" that Lent calls us to: "What John wants to emphasise is not the suffering but rather the 'totality' of what is at play. This is a story of victory, not defeat... Jesus is opening a pathway from cruel suffering to a fullness of life. And he is eager to share that victory with us, and he urges us to follow him. ... Our Lenten time is a time of training and developing a "Paschal mindset". That means learning how to see our own negative experiences as events of seed-sowing, whether it is pain or disappointment, failure or shame, worry or fear. That's hard. Spontaneously we resist. We seek to evade such things. We cling to what we feel our life should be. But doing so, Jesus tells us, means losing something precious."

Suggested music to accompany weekly reflections

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