Alive with Franciscan joy

Giving up noise for Lent

Monday, April 7, 2014


"Then the Lord said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind ... but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake -- but the Lord was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire -- but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound." (1 Kings: 19: 11-12)

by Sister Laura Zelten


I am not the type of person who gives up something for Lent. Instead, I usually try to add on something that will help me be aware of God's presence in a more profound way.

This year, I decided to turn off my car radio. I spend a lot of time on the road so this is significant time in silence. Besides perfecting my driving attentiveness, this quiet time has become a meaningful and prayerful experience. Without the noise, I focus on the silence and the beauty that is all around me. I hear God's voice in a distinct way. I reflect more on what I heard, sang or proclaimed during the morning prayer, especially the Gospel.

Even though I hadn't intended to give up for Lent, I am grateful for the gift of silence and contemplation added to my day.

Praying your Lent is filled with God's graces!


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The Way of the Cross

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Station 7 - Jesus falls a second time.

by Sister Laura Zelten

How many times have I prayed the Way of the Cross?  I remember the times as a small child in grade school that during Lent the entire student body would go to church every Friday afternoon to pray the way of the cross together.  As a family we would go on Sunday afternoons during Lent to pray with the parish community.

While I was ministering in Nicaragua the Stations became real to me.  Living with my brothers and sisters who could relate to the sufferings of Jesus made me understand oppression in a very true sense of the word.  On Good Friday the whole town would gather to pray the Way of the Cross. It would take about three hours in the heat of midday.  Hundreds of people would walk the streets praying and singing Jesus' walk to Calvary.

The Way of the Cross is a guide for our heart or a blueprint for expressing our response to what happens in our world today.  They offer us counsel on how to walk with dignity and grace as we compassionately respond to the needs of our times.

As a design for life, the Way of the Cross can offer us a pattern for life that will afford us a way to walk with integrity and grace in the midst of a world where injustice, violence and despair exist.

We walk the Way of the Cross to the death of Jesus but we do not stop with death.  We go to the tomb where we experience the power of the Resurrection.

During this Lenten season as you pray the Way of the Cross may you experience the Jesus as our brother and liberator from death to eternal life.

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Embracing Lent

Friday, February 17, 2012

by Sister Laura Zelten

Katie, Sister Laura and Stella out for a stroll.

I am so excited for the season of Lent to begin.  This is one of my favorite times in the Church year.

It is a gift in the middle of the bleak winter to take time for prayer and strengthen one's relationship with God.  The Church offers us so many good examples of how we can spend these 40 days. We can take part in parish activities such as Bible studies, morning Mass, or the Sunday afternoon Stations of the Cross.

How many times have you been asked, "What are you giving up for Lent?"  Ten years ago my friend Katie and I started a morning walk for our Lenten intention.  Can you believe we haven't qu

it our morning walk yet?  TEN YEARS … how many miles … how many conversations?

Families can and do have their Lenten traditions.  As a child I loved Lent.  Mom would go to early morning Mass and on the way home would stop to pick up chocolate milk and sweet rolls for breakfast.  Or Dad would bring home smoked fish for lunch.

This year for Lent I have decided to use Bishop Robert Morneau's Lenten Reflection Book, "Not By Bread Alone." (paperbackeBook). This little treasure has a reflection for every day of Lent.  What are you going to do for your Lenten intention this year?

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