There is an absolute plethora of spiritual resources on the web to help you in your journey during Lent. In fact, there are so many (and I've gotten so many emails promoting them) that it's somewhat hard to keep track. But here goes. First off, is our own series of brief video reflections on the theme of "What Will You Take Up?" in which America's editors talk about doing something "positive" for Lent, rather than "giving something up"--not that there's anything wrong with the latter. (The first one, Karen Smith's beautiful and simple and practical advice, is above.) Also, Mary Valle has a charming article, just posted today, on why she loves Lent. Next, Loyola Productions, Loyola Press and the Midwest Jesuits are rolling out an ambitious new web series called "40," in which seven strangers deal with a "mysterious, calamitous event: Los Angeles is empty, devoid of people." The web series will weave in Lenten themes through the storylines and raise a host of spiritual issues in a novel way. (Full disclosure: I've not seen the entire series....so you'll be as surprised as I am!) Huffington Post has a cool compendium of Lenten resources, including articles, liveblogs, and a chance to join an "online community of pilgrims." Loyola Press, taking off from its very popular "3-Minute Retreat" feature, is sponsoring "3 Minutes for Lent" on Facebook, which leads you through a brief series of meditations on a variety of Scripture passages with some peaceful music that I'm listening to right now. (You can also sign up to receive 3-Minute Retreat daily--during Lent and beyond--in your inbox.) Bustedhalo's "Fast, Pray, Give" helps you with suggestions on how to live out each of those disciplines in creative ways. Finally, the Romero Center in Camden offers a series of daily reflections, often with a focus on social justice, easily followed on their online calendar.
May Lent bring you, as the Holy Father said today, closer to the "joy and hope brought by Easter."
James Martin, SJ