Lenten Prayer Power

Lisa Martin

Some sisters celebrate Mardi Gras, reflecting the practice of
 the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

As the Season of Lent draws near, retired Sisters of the Humility of Mary living at Humility of Mary Center (HMC) in Davenport prepare to celebrate in a variety of ways.

They will participate in CRS Rice BowlCatholic Relief Services' Lenten faith-in-action program for families and faith communitiesdevoting Lenten prayers, fasting and gifts to change the lives of the poor. Of the funds collected 25% will remain in the Davenport Diocese to help organizations that fight hunger and poverty.
The sisters have made a donation to Bread for the World which in turn provides table tent cards that are placed on dining room tables. The cards feature Lenten Prayers for Hungry People— different prayers and scripture for the six weeks of Lent and Holy Week. Sisters at each table pray quietly together. On an average day at HMC there are 7 tables set for four sisters at each meal. We are talking Lenten Prayer Power!

Purple Lenten banners are placed in the Magnificat Chapel at HMC and special prayers are read during morning prayer. To help mark the season of Lent the sisters have "quiet" Masses (no music) except Wednesdays, Sundays and special solemnities. They also have invited "Lydia," a special musical group from Dubuque, IA, to inspire them with a heartfelt Lenten prayer service filled with reflections and music.

During this time, using the spiritual practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the sisters deepen their relationship with Christ and discern where God is working in their lives.