Lent 2015: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Praying with icons this Lent
STUDY: Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent
ACT: Sign the statement, "Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition"
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Fourth Week of Lent, March 15-21, 2015
This PSA e-bulletin (Pray-Study-Act) is for next week, the fourth week of the 2015 Lenten season. We try to send these out a few days prior to the week for which they are designed so that you can use them with your families, small communities, in your parishes and with your local groups. We hope giving you a little lead time will allow you to use them and adapt them as you see fit. Additionally, many of the past PSAs include still relevant prayer, study and action items, and can be found on our Lent 2015 webpage where we'll archive all of our Lenten resources. 
    So far this year, we have over 15 groups who have shared their plans for staging a Good Friday Way of the Cross in their community. In addition to the resources we've made available on this page, Lori in our sales office is offering a number of other great Lenten resources, including Megan McKenna's classic Stations of the Cross as a downloadable e-booklet, ready for purchase. You can click here to check out other items. 
    If you do plan on doing a Way of the Cross this year, please let me know and I'll add your info to the Lent page.


In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Praying with icons this Lent
Icon by Fr. William Hart McNichols

Throughout the year, but especially during the seasons of Lent and Advent, I find praying with icons to be an especially rich and deep prayer experience. Our church is blessed to have many incredible iconographers, including Fr. Bill McNichols. We have used some of Fr. Bill's icons on the website and in emails like this one. As you pray this Lenten season and onward, we hope you'll consider supporting Fr. Bill's work by purchasing his icons for your individual and communal experiences of prayer and worship. 

Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent

By Mary Schneiders, OP


2 Chr 36: 14-16. 19-23 | Eph 2:4-10 | Jn 3:14-21


Today's reading from Ephesians focuses on the infinite mercy, compassion and forgiveness of God as revealed through Jesus, in contrast to the first reading from Chronicles which images a God bent on vengeful punishment of a sinful, unfaithful people. But even in that reading, the underlying intent is to express God's deep anguish over being rejected and abandoned by those whom God had chosen, cared for and nurtured. Would a woman have imaged God's response to rejection in this way-sending an army to destroy the unfaithful Beloved? Turning to violence is, for most women, the very last resort, and for many, not an option or consideration at all. How might God, as woman, have responded to the infidelity of the Jewish people?

   Paul, in Ephesians, reminds us that we are indeed precious to God, not because of anything we have done, but simply because of God's love for us which is both the source of and the reason for our very existence. We are, each of us, God's handiwork-a beautiful work of art. God loves us and delights in us. Because it is the very nature of love to be mutual and reciprocal, God desires from us a response to this love. But because of our sinfulness, we have often withheld, refused to respond to God's love. Yet Jesus tells us that God does not condemn or seek to destroy us because of our sinfulness, our failure in love. Rather God continues to reach out to us, sending Jesus-not to punish or condemn us, but to save us, to restore our covenant relationship with God. The tragedy is that we have the terrible power to refuse even God's love enfleshed in Jesus. Jesus continues to be enfleshed among us in our sisters and brothers-in the poor, the marginalized, the oppressed, the victims of violence, abuse and injustice. How do we respond to Jesus as we meet him daily in our sisters and brothers, especially in the "least of God's people"?.... 


ACT: Sign the statement
"Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition"

Pax Christi USA is a member of the Washington Working Group of Pax Christi International. This group composed of Maryknoll, Sisters of Mercy and the Columban Fathers and Brothers does advocacy work around the following issues: nuclear disarmament, U.S. relations with Israel and Palestine, the war in Syria, etc.

  With this in mind, PCUSA is lending its support to this document, "Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition", and invites you to sign - and invite other Catholic leaders to do the same. A fact sheet about the statement can be found by clicking here.

   To sign, please send your name, title and organization to Marie Dennis (marie.dennis@paxchristi.net) by the close of business on Friday, March 20, 2015.

    This statement will be delivered to Catholics in Congress and the Administration with a copy of the Holy See's Nuclear Disarmament: Time of Abolition. It will also be made public in advance of the NPT Review Session in April- May.

    In closing, Pax Christi USA committed to disarmament invites you to send a clear message to Congress that the elimination of nuclear weapons is not only a moral imperative; it is the ultimate measure of our worth as human beings.


Click here for more information.