Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, February 12, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Holy Redeemer Open House 2016

Home : Viewpoints : Editorials
4/3/2012 11:28:00 AM
Is your Lenten journey inside or outside?
Catholic News Service photo
Christian pilgrims touch the Stone of Unction, which commemorates the anointing of Jesus before his burial, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem March 29. 
Catholic News Service photo
Christian pilgrims touch the Stone of Unction, which commemorates the anointing of Jesus before his burial, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem March 29. 
Tom Sheridan


I swear I'm not making this up: For Lent, a woman in Chicago gave up Facebook.

Is this what the great time of preparation for the glory of Easter has come to? Not sharing usually unimportant and often inane observations about life in the early 21st century?

God forbid.

But her sacrifice, such as it is, does offer an opportunity to probe a little more deeply into this annual journey Christians make through daily life to end up at the foot of Jesus' cross.

Facebook notwithstanding, there is much imagery connected with Lent, all valid and worth pondering: desert, penance, wilderness, hungering and thirsting, self-sacrifice and even hot cross buns. There's more, too, of course.

All make good and prayerful points to consider for reflection and preparation as we enter Holy Week.

Still, a more pointed question might be: Is your Lenten journey inside or outside?

No, I don't mean choosing between praying in the bright sunshine or a darkened room. Are you spending Lent within yourself, focused in prayerful reflection on your imperfect life, perhaps along with daily Mass?

Or have you instead kept your Lent outside, confronting the troubles of the world — volunteering in a soup kitchen or protesting violence, war, culture, politics and the like?

How we choose says a lot about the God we believe in.

Lent provides us with obligations and opportunities. Both are clear in the season's traditional touch points of prayer, fasting and almsgiving -- or charitable works. Each is necessary, yet none stands alone.

The obligations, such as fasting and abstinence, are quite specific and detailed by church law. These even form the basis of our tradition of "giving up" -- sacrificing -- something for Lent. Yes, I suppose that even means "fasting" from Facebook.

But obligations alone -- the "musts" and "shoulds" of faith -- are too often what drive us. Yes, these are necessary, but alone they can be problematic, because it's our opportunities that offer an avenue to evangelize God's presence to the world.

Faith isn't a set of mechanisms, gears and levers. We can't just push certain buttons or say the words of prayers just right and God happens. Likewise, when our faith is only outside, in the streets, we risk disconnection from our traditional core.

So we choose only one -- inside or outside -- at our peril. Because in faith, as in life, our outsides must reflect our insides: Our beliefs must power our actions.

Remember, Lent began for us in a very public way, with ashes daubed on foreheads to proclaim our interior penance. Just as vital, that action announces who we are to the world. And make no mistake, the world is watching.

Just how closely we are being watched ought to be obvious from the ongoing squabble over religious liberty and health care. At its heart is the sense of Catholic identity and the ability of Catholics -- or people of any faith -- to proclaim religious beliefs in an increasingly multicultural society.

There is much current discussion, often ill-informed, about how faith in the public square works. Yes, being faithful in a multicultural society can be a challenge, but being a Christian is to be a prophet. And proclaiming the Gospel is to be a radical.

So, Lent: inside or outside? The answer must be both. During this season of reconciliation and penance, we must bring our inside faith outside and with it God and Gospel.

The Chicago woman and Facebook? I suppose that if Facebook is consuming your life, then perhaps a "fast" from it is appropriate. On the other hand, she drew the line at tweeting. Couldn't do without it, she said.

The writer is a former editor of The Catholic New World, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a deacon ordained for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill.



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved