I’ve been reading a lot of advice on how to have a more spiritual experience of Lent. Pope Francis has a suggestion. “It is the right time to turn off the television and open the Bible. It is the time to disconnect from cellphones and connect ourselves to the Gospel,” he told pilgrims in Vatican Square on Ash Wednesday.
Of course, for those of us in the field of communications, that’s easier said than done. Tuning out and turning off also might be a problem for people who depend on these devices for a living or for security. So here’s a thought. Use your cellphone or your tablet more productively. Give the usual social media and your favorite online shopping site a rest and try these ideas instead.
The Paulists have an app, “Lent 2020 with Pope Francis,” downloadable for IOS and Android devices. If you want to have a prayerful experience of reading scripture, Paulist Press publishes The Catholic Prayer Bible, Lectio Divina Edition. It invites you to read, reflect, pray and act. Since we are in the “A” liturgical cycle, you might focus on Matthew’s Gospel.
Sacred Space, a Jesuit website, also is offering a Lenten experience for you to explore. Or you can join an Augustinian Lenten retreat, already in progress. The Carmelites offer the Way of the Cross with Carmelite Saints.
Any of these should help us all to make this holy season more meaningful.