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It's Lent Spring Training at Aquinas and More

by Ian on February 25, 2011

This past Sunday used to be called Septuagesima Sunday and was considered the first warning of the Passion of our Lord because the liturgical colors changed to violet and the Alleluia and Gloria were dropped until Easter.

So, you could consider it "Spring Training" time for Lent. Our pastor tells everyone to do four things every year during Lent:
  1. Spend time doing spiritual reading. We carry dozens of books for Lenten meditation including, for the first time, the Little Black Book published by the diocese of Saginaw.
    The Little Black BookIn 1999, Bishop Ken Untener of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw decided to create a Little Black Book, which would use the prayer tradition of Lectio Divina to help people pray the Passion of Our Lord.

    On the right-hand side of the book, there would be a verse from the Passion and a reflection. Folks would be asked to spend "six minutes a day with this Little Book, letting God speak to them through this scriptural verse." The left-hand side would be like a "buffet table" with a variety of items: Catholic customs and traditions, the saint of the day, historical tidbits and other interesting information.

    The Little Black Book debuted in 2000 as a Lenten reflection book for the bishop’s mid-Michigan diocese. Besides an English version of the book, there was also a Spanish edition, and a children’s book (Little Purple Book). Soon, however, word of the Little Books began to spread to parishes throughout Michigan and the Midwest, and the Saginaw Diocese was flooded with requests for copies of the book.

  2. Blessed Be GodSay an extra prayer each day. If you don't already have a wonderful prayer book, stop in and pick one up. We carry collections of prayers and novenas, books about how to pray and daily reflection books for the entire year.

    Personally, I recommend the Blessed Be God prayer book. It's compact and still manages to hold over four hundred pages of prayers and readings.

  3. Work on getting over a vice. Okay, it's quiz time. Do you know what the seven deadly sins are? Hint: Miami isn't one of them. I know, it's been a long time since catechism class which is why we have the most entertaining book you'll ever read about the things that can send you to Hell. The Bad Catholics Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins is really for everyone who has a sense of humor and a desire to learn more about salvation and damnation.

    Bad Catholic's Guide to Seven Deadly SinsThe latest installment of the Bad Catholic’s Guides examines the greatest threats to the virtuous life—the seven deadly sins. Theological and historical insights, tongue-in-cheek vignettes of history's greatest saints and sinners, and cringe-inducing quizzes entice readers to tally their scores on the virtue and vice index and calibrate to what degree they have imperiled their immortal souls. Andy Warhol, Ayn Rand, and Mother Angelica are invoked as exemplars of the best and worst of human behavior, while a heady blend of serious theology and pointed satire—punctuated by trivia, charts, and vignettes—brings theology into sharp, hilarious relief, and demonstrates that religious education need not be boring.

  4. Menus for LentGive up something you like. During Lent it can sometimes be hard to come up with daily meals. We've got the perfect solution and it was written by a local! Last year Loretta Bocast wrote the first Menus for Lent and we are carrying her handy recipe book and shopping planner again.

    The notepad-style book contains a recipe for each day as well as shopping lists to make your Lenten fasting as easy as possible. Okay, wait, maybe you shouldn't buy this book.

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