The Lenten Retreat

A five-to-ten minute Lenten retreat for people on the go!

1. Find a place or space that offers you some quiet. 

2. Take a moment to be conscious that you are in the loving and living presence of God.

"My God, you are loving me. Help me to spend these few moments with you in prayerful reflection. Help me to sense whatever you desire to stir up in my heart to help keep me grounded."

3. Read slowly and prayerfully the reflection offered for the day (click on the links above) until a word or idea slowly emerges or grabs your attention. 

4. In the silence of your heart, speak with God about whatever is stirred up in your heart. Stay with this silent prayer for a while. 

5. As your prayer-time draws to a close, offer thanksgiving for God's loving presence with you during this time and at all times. 

6. Take a word or phrase from your prayer-time and carry it in your heart as you go about the activities of your day. In this way you can remain recollected and focused in the midst of all of your activities.

On the Run with the daily Lenten Scriptures

Ash Wednesday
"Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God, for gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness." 
(Joel 2. 13)

Jesus, I will think of your graciousness and mercy as I begin my Lenten journey. There is no more powerful realization to lead me to continue my change of heart than to remember that you have been rich in kindness to me. 

"Choose life, that you and your descendents may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." 
(Deut. 30.19)

Jesus, when I choose to follow the lead of your grace in the moments of my day, I am choosing life. Then, I will better hear your voice and hold fast to your hand as I go about my day. 

"This is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, setting free the oppressed, sharing your bread with the hungry, not turning your back on your own." 
(Is. 58. 7-8)

When was the last time my fasting helped my neighbor in a personal way? Jesus, this is what you desire. Let me seek ways this Lent to reach out personally to someone who is oppressed or hungry. 

"I have come not to call the righteous to repentance, but sinners." 
(Lk. 5.32)

Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I will give thanks that you are calling me to a change of heart during this Lent. I will accept your mercy graciously each day.

1st Sunday of Lent
"Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty day, to be tempted by the devil." 
(Lk. 4.1)

Jesus, I am consoled to know that you too were tempted by the devil. I am encouraged by knowing that the Spirit was with you during those forty days. Now, I must remember that the Spirit is with me, especially at times when I am tempted. 

Monday - 1st Week
"Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy. . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 
(Lev. 19. 1,18)

Jesus, my holiness involves loving my neighbor in the same way that you love me. Lent will offer me many opportunities to do just that. My neighbor, not just the one next door, will become the graced way that I will grow in holiness. 

Tuesday - Week 1
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." 
(Mt. 6. 7-8)

Jesus, help me to be shorter and more trusting in my prayer each day. Give me what you know I need to love as you do. Be generous in the same way to those for whom I pray. 

Wednesday - Week 1
"A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me." 
(Ps. 51. 12-13)

Jesus, you provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation to create a clean heart in me. May I take from this encounter with you the daily grace that can renew a steadfast spirit within me. 

Thursday - Week 1
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." 
(Mt. 7. 12)

Jesus, you ask me to be active in seeking your grace each day. I believe in your gracious care for me. May I always remember to ask and seek and knock. 

Friday - Week 1
"If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift." 
(Mt. 5. 25)

Jesus, help me to prepare well to receive you in Eucharist by seeking to reconcile with anyone I may have hurt by my lack of patience and love. You give me the gift of reconciliation; may I return that same gift to you through others. 

Saturday - Week 1
"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father." 
(Mt. 5. 44)

Jesus, how easily I am hurt and how slow I am to forgive. May your grace move me to forgive more quickly, so that I can be more fully a child of my heavenly Father, forgiving as generously as you forgive. May my willingness to forgive, like yours, reach out beyond any border. 

2nd Sunday of Lent
"Then from the cloud came a voice that said, 'This is my chosen Son; listen to him.'" 
(Lk. 9.35)

Father, I hear your voice telling me to listen to your chosen One. As I continue my Lenten journey, help me to listen to Jesus' voice each day as he speaks to me in the Scriptures and often through my neighbor. 

Monday - Week 2
"For the measure with which you measure will in turn be measured out to you." 
(Lk. 6. 38)

Jesus, my measure is oftentimes very small. Your measure is always large and overflowing. Fill my heart each day with your measure so that your love in me may overflow to all I encounter. 

Tuesday - Week 2
"Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool." 
(Is. 1.18)

Jesus, you overwhelm me with your willingness to forgive. May the peaceful touch of your forgiveness encourage me never to return to sinful ways. 

Wednesday - Week 2
"Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave." 
(Mt. 20.27)

Jesus, you came among us to serve and give your life as a ransom for many. Give me a share in your humility so that I may delight in serving others. 

Thursday - Week 2
"I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart to reward everyone according to his ways, according to the merit of his deeds." 
(Jer. 17.10)

Jesus, you know my mind and heart as I live each day. I desire you to live in my mind and heart so that my deeds will reflect your loving kindness. 

Friday - Week 2
"Remember the marvels the Lord has done." 
(Psalm response)

Jesus, your gift of remembering allows us to reclaim joys of the past. As I reflect on the marvels you have done for me during my life-time and even before, I am able to recapture joy. May I always remember gratefully. 

Saturday - Week 2
"Coming to his senses, (the younger son) thought, 'I shall get up and go to my Father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son." 
(Lk. 15.18)

Jesus, you offer me this Lenten season as a way for me to come to my senses. In so many ways, I do not deserve to be a son (daughter) of our Father. Teach me the humility to acknowledge my sinful ways and show me the way home to my Father. 

3rd Sunday of Lent (C)
"If you do not repent, you will all perish as (these people) did." 
(Lk. 13.3)

Jesus, your words are strong. I can hear the urgency in them. You have given me this Lenten season as a graced time to turn more completely to you - to experience again how gracious and merciful you are to me. 

Monday - Week 3
"Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?" 
(Ps. 42. 2)

Jesus, I know what it is to be thirsty. I'm not sure that my soul always thirsts for you. I do desire to behold your face. Please awaken a deeper thirst for you in my soul each day this Lent. 

Tuesday - Week 3
"Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior." 
(Ps. 25. 4-5)

Jesus, who can teach and guide me better on my Lenten journey than you. Receive me, for I come to you with a contrite heart and a humble spirit. Teach me how to forgive from my heart. 

Wednesday - Week 3
"Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven." 
(Mt. 5.19)

Jesus, how wise and gracious you are. You have given me all the commands I need to know about living my life in a way that is pleasing to you. Help me to obey them lovingly and teach others by the way I live each day. 

Thursday - Week 3
"Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, so that you may prosper." 

Jesus, I hear so many voices during the day that try to influence how I live. Help me to learn to hear your voice speaking to me, so that I may prosper in your sight. 

Friday - Week 3
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." 
(Mt. 12.29)

Jesus, you ask me to love you with every fiber of my being. I am awed when I hear your command. Then I remember that you never ask the impossible; your grace within me makes such complete love possible. 

Saturday - Week 3
"The tax collector stood off at a great distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified." 
(Lk. 18.13)

Jesus, what great wisdom and humility I find in the prayerful attitude of the tax collector. My willingness to acknowledge my unworthiness to be in your presence and my need for your mercy is the wisdom I need to accept your saving love. 

4th Sunday of Lent (C)
"My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." 
(Lk. 15. 31-2)

Jesus, what great love you have toward the faithful and the prodigal! You celebrate faithfulness and return with the same generosity. I desire to be faithful. May I always remember your generosity whenever I am prodigal. 

Monday - Week 4
"Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind." 
(Is. 65.17)

Jesus, when you came to live among us and die for us, you expressed your desire to create anew and forget the things of the past. Enable me with your grace to move on from my past and savor the newness of grace in my present and future. 

Tuesday - Week 4
"Jesus said to (the man), 'Rise, take up your mat, and walk.' Immed- iately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked." 
(Jn. 5.8-9)

Jesus, each morning you take me by the hand and tell me, "Rise, and walk." You give me the strength to get up and go about my day. Continue to hold my hand so that I remember that you are with me the whole day. 

Wednesday - Week 4
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you." 
(Is. 49.15)

Jesus, knowing that you will never forget me stirs gratefulness in my heart. May my gratefulness lead me to never forget you as I go about my day. 

Thursday - Week 4
"How can you believe, when you accept praise from another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?" 
(Jn. 5. 44)

Jesus, as I go about doing good things during the day, am I content to accept the praise of God? Or do I seek to have others praise my efforts? As I continue my Lenten journey, help me to answer these questions in your favor: content to accept only your praise. 

Friday - Week 4
"For if the just one be the Son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience."
(Wis. 2.18-19)

Jesus, you proved these words true in your suffering and death. While it's hard for me to admit at times, my sins are the reason for your choosing to suffer and die. What a gift of love your gentleness and patience continue to be to me. 

Saturday - Week 4
"O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and rescue me." 
(Ps. 7.2)

Jesus, I know that the devil pursues me, trying to entice me to sin. I know that I can take refuge in you. Sometimes I forget. Give me gentle reminders of your loving care. 

5th Sunday of Lent (C)
'Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God's upward calling, in Christ Jesus." 
(Phil. 3.14)

As I continue my Lenten journey with you, Jesus, I am realizing how much you want me to forget my past and move forward in my efforts to love you and my neighbor. You are calling me toward my eternal home. 

Monday - Week 5
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 
(Jn. 8.12)

Jesus, I look around me at my world and I see plenty of darkness. Sometimes that darkness discourages me. Your light is my only hope. Teach me to fear no evil, for you are at my side. 

Tuesday - Week 5
"When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. . . . I always do what is pleasing to him." 
(Jn. 8.28-9)

Jesus, what an unbelievable way you have chosen to reveal your love for your Father and for me. As I look at your Cross, may my heart be moved with gratefulness and lead me to always do what is pleasing to you. 

Wednesday - Week 5
"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciple, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." 
(Jn. 8.31)

Jesus, I am trying to remain in your word during this Lenten season. More and more I am realizing the truth you are teaching me. Help me to experience the freedom that comes with being your faithful disciple and remaining in your word. 

Thursday - Week 5
"Amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death." 
(Jn. 8.51)

Jesus, I know that every human person will die. I hear your words and trust that my death in this world will be the moment when your promise of eternal life with you will be fulfilled. I will try each day to keep your word. Then I will not fear death, for you will take me home. 

Friday - Week 5
"Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked." 
(Jer, 20.13)

Jesus, you desire to rescue the life of the poor. I am part of your Body. Your desire must be mine too. May this desire lead me to personal acts that will touch some of the poor. 

Saturday - Week 5
"I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them. My dwelling shall be with them." 
(Ez. 37.27)

Jesus, I am always in wonder that our God would choose to make such a covenant with us, with me. You and the Father and the Spirit dwell with us and give us peace. May my wonder lead me to work personally to bring your peace to my brothers and sisters. 

Palm/Passion Sunday
"(Christ Jesus) emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." 
(Phil. 2.6-7)

Jesus, the example of your humility is not lost on me. You encourage me to put myself humbly at the service of the Father's plan for me. There is nothing too humble for those who love and obey. 

Monday of Holy Week
"Here is my servant. I … formed you and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement and from the dungeons, those who live in darkness." 
(Is. 42. 1,7)

Jesus, you are the perfect Suffering Servant. By my baptism, I too have been called to be a servant, a light for the nations. Show me each day how I can be this light. Help me with your grace so that I will have the courage to reach out to anyone whose eyes you want to open and to those whose confinement you want to end. 

Tuesday of Holy Week
"(Peter), will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I tell you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times." 
(Jn. 13.38)

Jesus, I feel sorry for Peter. He was so sure of himself and his willingness to follow you even to death. And yet in his human weakness, he denied you three times. Sometimes I share Peter's sureness, and yet I have denied you in my weakness. Help me to weep for my denials as Peter did. 

Wednesday of Holy Week
"Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak. I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for consolers, not one could I find." 
(Ps. 69.21)

Jesus, my Lenten journey has brought me to these holy days when I will follow you in your Passion and Death. I desire to be with you for you are my Savior.