Tuesday 24 May 2022

Journey Through Lent - Clement Harrold - Reflections on the Daily Mass Readings

Journey Through Lent: 
ISBN 9781645851950

This volume was available for free as a download if you signed up for Scott Hahn’s weekly Lenten reflections. The two went together wonderfully. I very much enjoyed and was blessed by reading the daily reflections in this book. Each week on Wednesdays links were sent out for three new video’s of Scott Hahn speaking. Each week was three videos and about an hour across the three. The weeks were:

Lord, Have Mercy
First Comes Love
The Family Prayer
The Lamb's Supper
Consuming the Word
The Fourth Cup

The reflections in the book are based on the day of Lent, not the year they were published so it can be used again. The book contains 40 reflections from Ash Wednesday through to Holy Saturday, and a reflection 5 Sundays of Lent and one for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. For a total of 46 reflections. After the reflections is a collection of Bonus Materials:

Promise & Fulfillment Series
Lord, Have Mercy:
     The Healing Power of Confession  
First Comes Love:
     What Is the Catholic Gospel?  
The Family Prayer:
     Understanding Our Father
The Lamb’s Supper 
Consuming the Word 
The Fourth Cup 

The talks, the reflections and the bonus materials fit seamlessly together and made for a wonderful Lenten resource or mini daily retreat. I greatly enjoyed Clement Harrold’s reflections and would be interested check out any future book from his pen. A sample reflection is:

Wednesday of the
First Week of Lent

Reading I: Jonah 3:1–10
Psalm: 51:3–4, 12–13, 18–19
Gospel: Luke 11:29–32

Today’s readings are a tale of two generations. On the one hand, we have the generation of Nineveh, which, caught up in its evil ways, finally repents at the promptings of the prophet Jonah. On the other hand, we have the generation of Jesus’s own day, which He describes as an evil generation for its lack of faith and repentance (see Luke 11:29).

On judgement day, Our Lord tells us, the holy men of Nineveh and the queen of the south will rise and condemn that generation for its wicked ways. But what of our own day and age? Are we any different?

Looking at the world around us, it appears that the tragic answer, if anything, is that ours is an even worse generation. Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, in a September 2015 address to the World Meeting of Families, expressed it well when he said, “In today's society, materialism is idolized, immorality is glamorized, truth is minimized, sin is normalized, divorce is rationalized, and abortion is legalized.

“In TV and movies, crime is legitimized, drug use is minimized, comedy is vulgarized, and sex is trivialized. In movies, the Bible is fictionalized, churches are satirized, God is marginalized, and Christians are demonized. The elderly are dehumanized, the sick are euthanized, the poor are victimized, the mentally ill are ostracized, immigrants are stigmatized, and children are tranquilized.

“In families around the world, our manners are uncivilized, speech is vulgarized, faith is secularized, and everything is commercialized.”1

This is the world in which we live, and the words of the first pope, St. Peter, remain as relevant today as they were in the first century: “Save yourselves from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40).

As Christians we were born to stand out! Like Jonah, by virtue of our baptism, we have been given a prophetic mission, and ours is the task of proclaiming the truth and light of the Gospel to this broken world of ours.

What does it mean to be in the world, but not of the
world? Am I living this out successfully?”

This was a great resource for Lent. I would be interested in doing it again another year with a group, maybe getting together weekly to watch the videos, or just discussion the readings and reflections. It was a real blessing to me during this third Lent of the Pandemic. And It was wonderful that the PDF was available for free, or you could order the physical copy for a very reasonable price if you wished. I just wished there was a eBook format or Kindle, ePub, or Mobi available.  

A great resource for Lent, either for personal, family or communal use.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

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