María Salto Galdón of the Irish Faber Community has helped to translate the Lent Calendar 2021 from Spanish into English. Created by the Christian Life Community in Europe, the calendar is intended to inspire young people in parishes, schools, and communities under the theme ‘Get passionate’.
María is actively involved in the Faber Community » which is an outreach branch of the Faber Companions, the community of young men who live together in friendship and service in Dublin. They are named after Peter Faber, co-founder of the Jesuits, who is known for his ministry of friendship with a consistent focus on communion and reconciliation.
Referring to the Lent Calendar 2021 pastoral initiative, María says that each day focuses on a unique perspective such as personal development, our common home, the excluded, and God. A graphic and multimedia reflection delves deeper into the theme which can be summarized as “Whoever is not passionate, will spare the suffering yet miss the joy”.
Young people are encouraged to follow up with concrete actions, for example, uploading content on social media. View the Lent Calendar schedule below:
María has also helped to prepare (see below) a teaching guide or introduction for the Lent Calendar 2021. It includes a prayer on ‘falling in love’ by former Father General Pedro Arrupe SJ, a reflection on discovering what each person is passionate about in their relationships with their family, friends, and God.
There is an invitation to reach out to those who are excluded and to be a good ‘influencer’ for each other and the planet while finding ways of being balanced and grounded.
The reflections can be accessed each day on social media channels:
Teaching Guide – Lent 2021 – Get Passionate
Father Pedro Arrupe SJ, who had named passion as “falling in love”, had already told us:
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
What you fall in love with will fill your days and nights and guide your soul. It will make you feel everything deeply; joy, but also pain. Because if you don’t experience passion, it’s true, you won’t suffer, but you won’t experience joy either. So we propose this Lent that you become passionate.
When you are passionate about someone, you want to be with that person. The same happens with God. You want to get to know God better through The Word of God, or interpretations of the scriptures. You look for communication, to confess your feelings, your fears, and dreams to God. You plan to embark on things together, often simple things. Sometimes you just want to tell him about your day. Sometimes you just want to be next to him.
We want to invite you to be passionate about Jesus, who is about to go through a tough time, left abandoned by his friends, socially misunderstood, betrayed, suffering, laughed at, his rights denied, even dead.
Surely, you too, have experienced some of these feelings before and have suffered as well. Fortunately, you may have had someone on whom to lean on. We invite you to be a support to Jesus during this Lent because he is truly important to you. What happened to him and what happens to thousands of people daily is important to you.
Be passionate about your family. It may not be the perfect family, but it is the place where they loved you first, even before you were born. It is the place they have created where you can take refuge, dream and be yourself, so much that you can shout and get angry and nothing will happen… after a while, everything will be like before and they will love you the same way they always have. Not for what you do or don’t do, but for who you are. Isn’t this a small miracle of love?
Fortunately, you are part of this small miracle of love. How can you contribute to make your home a happy place? At this time, we invite you to look a bit further, to look for those who do not have such great support at home.
Be passionate for those who are excluded: prisoners, migrants, orphans, the sick, those whose rights are not recognized, those who lack travel and identity documents, the homeless… do not pretend you cannot see them. There is very little that separates you from them. Sometimes it is a border, an illness, an opportunity or a word such as “without”. In all other things, you are equal. Put yourself in their shoes. That is what Jesus did, he fought for their dignity, their inclusion, their rights, their visibility until that compassion, fight, denouncement became unbearable for some.
Take a look around you. Even today there are people trying to restore dignity to the ignored, to include the rejected, to alleviate the wounded. Are you also passionate about building the Reign of God? If you decide to launch into this project, be assured you will find great people along the way. You never know where the passion to include the excluded will take you.
There are people whom you appreciate, but life has distanced you from them. At some point they were close, but now it is hard for you to find the space and time to reach them, so that their wealth fills your life. You know that letting yourself be touched by that wealth is well worth it. Take this Lent time to send a greeting, a smile in the form of an emoticon, a prayer, a message that simply steals time from what seems to have been forgotten, that carries a disguised “I love you” as a restorer of hope.
Check your channels of influence, TV, mobile, social networks, power, money … and find your good or bad influencers. Give each of them the power of influence that you want them to have over you. Don’t let them dominate you. Pay more attention and time to those who lead you to do good, because without a doubt they will bring you happiness, and less to those who lead you towards selfishness, since they will only generate suffering.
Also, become aware of what you share. What is the image you project to the world and what do you intend to achieve with it? Does this image have something to do with God? Maybe it’s time to get rid of the glossiness or filters so you look more natural and simple. Are you capable of not wanting more but less?
You can be a good influencer!
Be passionate about the planet. Through knowing and embracing it. It is part of you. As the living being that you are, you are part of all created things. Without it, you would not survive. You need its soil to walk, its air to breathe, its light to see, its water to drink, its warmth to feel comfortable, its fruits to eat.
The planet feels passion for you and overflows to offer you everything it has. How do you feel about it?
Be passionate about yourself. For being focused and in harmony. That within you everything is in its place and time. Where working and resting fit in your life, the effort and the recovery. Where there is room for laughter and crying. Let there be time to learn and to teach, to speak and to listen, to say goodbye and to welcome.
Balancing is difficult, but not impossible. Always keep trying. Looking at a fixed point will help you. Know what your center is.