Parish Lenten Retreat – Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO OUR PARISH LENTEN RETREAT

Throughout the season of Lent and culminating in our Easter celebration we will experience a Parish Retreat titled, Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace. The Retreat will unfold in the weekend homilies, liturgical music, bulletin & stphilip.org, reflections and workshop opportunities.

Dona Nobis Pacem
Grant Us Peace

“Peace I grant you, my peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you.” John 14:27

Peace is a most desirable gift. Jesus offers us the gift of peace. Our common world understanding of peace is an absence of disturbance or strife and a feeling of comfortableness accompanied by favorable circumstances. The peace that Jesus grants is not limited to good situations or even feelings of calmness. Jesus bestows peace that is God’s abundant action in our lives. Awareness of God’s presence even in the midst of conflict, discord and inner turmoil secures us with a blessed assurance that God is with us yesterday, today and forever. God’s peace supports us by changing the way that we see and experience ourselves, others and our world. God’s peace is the Spirit that moves us to wholeness, heals us for right relationships and renews us to be instruments of peace for one another. God’s power at work in our lives is our peace.

Weekend Scripture

  • The prophet Isaiah compares God’s love to the tenderness of a mother for her child. God can never forget us; we are carved on the palm of God’s hand.
  • Jesus teaches that we can trust in God’s providence and care in each moment. Seeking first God’s kingdom and living rightly frees us from unnecessary concerns.

Reflection Questions

  1. What does peace mean to you?
  2. How is your understanding of peace different than the brief description of God’s peace written above?
  3. What areas of your life would you like God to touch with the peace of Christ?
  4. Bring these areas to God and pray: Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace.
  5. How might you be an instrument of peace for others this Lent?

Musical Component

Dona Nobis Pacem is the Latin translation of our English words Grant Us Peace. Peace is used in the New Testament eighty-five times. Peace is one of the last words that Jesus speaks to his disciples before his crucifixion and among his first words after the Resurrection. Dona Nobis Pacem, Grant Us Peace is taken from the last portion of the “Agnus Dei” of the Ordinary of the Mass. The musical setting of that text is an example of a round or canon comprised of a musical form that is defined by the use of strict imitative counterpoint spun out from a single melodic line. The Dona Nobis Pacem round, like many others of its type, is of folk or unknown origin, although stylistically it suggests that it may have first appeared in the late 18th or early 19th century. We will learn this prayer and song for our private devotion as well as our community celebration of our Liturgy.

Season of Lent Opportunities

As we begin the season of Lent this Ash Wednesday we have an opportunity to renew our faith and our spiritual life for service to one another.

Lenten Practices:
  • Participating in weekly or even daily celebration of the Eucharist is the most perfect prayer and Lenten observance.
  • Engage in the variety of opportunities for community and private prayer and reflection in our Parish Retreat Dona Nobis Pacem.
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered every Monday from 7 to 8:30 PM and on Saturdays from 11 AM to 12 Noon in church.
  • Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings at 7:00 PM.
  • Lenten penance includes acts of self-denial as a tool for mindfulness of God’s bountiful gifts and presence and/or an increase in charitable acts and works of kindness.
  • Days of Fast and Abstinence: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence when we refrain from eating meat and have one full meal and two lesser meals. All Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence.

LENTEN BIBLE STUDY

A seven week Bible Study class for Lent will begin on Monday March 3 at 9.45 AM in the Molloy Center. We will study the readings for the upcoming Sunday during the Season of Lent.
Readings: Gen 2:7-9, and 3:1-7, 22, Romans 5:12-19 and Matthew 4:1-11.