By Owen Phelps, Ph.D.
Director, Yeshua Institute
If you’re looking for a link to a great little one-stop spot to help you grow in this time of Lent, you’d have a hard time doing better than this one – CRS Rice Bowl.
An outreach of Catholic Relief Services, it covers all three dimensions of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
It also anticipates the different interests and needs of various audiences:
I remember being a parent of young children and how grateful I was that Rice Bowl helped us bring all three pillars of Lent together around our family dinner table, where its materials helped us explain to our children the ⁸purpose of Lent and how they were being called not just to admire Jesus but to serve on his behalf.
Children need to hear that lesson. It’s not about sending them on a guilt trip. It’s about empowering them to respond to the call to be missionary disciples from their earliest days until they draw their last breath.
Rice Bowl materials taught them about people in other parts of the world and how we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
I trust they are now using those materials to teach their own children about the wonderful diversity of people and cultures around the world, how we are all connected, and how we are called to help others when we can.
Rice Bowl is a wonderful “mixed effort” that involves a little giving up and a little doing something extra.
Some parishes, to their credit, make a big deal of it. Others not so much. But anyone can participate – single, married, with or without children of any age. To find out more, here’s the link to the site.
Spending five minutes right now checking out this great program would be a great way for you to kick off your own Lenten observances.