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Lenten - Easter Cyber Retreat 2014 - Outline

Fr. Tim Hayes - EGL 1


March 3 – April 27, 2014


I propose a Cyber Retreat for the Seasons of the Paschal Mystery, Lent and Easter.  It is adaptable in any way that fits your own need. The only “requirement” is that you pray for those who join you. The Retreat actually concludes with Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, which is also the date for the Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.


This year’s retreat begins March 3, 2014, the Monday before Ash Wednesday.

Theme: Rejoicing in the Gospel, Witnessing the Joy of Faith



The Theme of Pope Francis’ Lenten Message is based on the scripture passage: “He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (cf. 2 Cor 8:9)


To read his message online, go to



The Theme for the Retreat will come from the Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evagelii Gaudium:



Reading of the whole document is encouraged, but the retreat will concentrate only on the Prologue, commenting on a small selection each week. The questions for each day find their inspiration in the opening paragraph.


The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.  In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.


You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.  Psalm 16:11


Lenten Questions:


Monday: How do you experience Joy in the Gospel?

Tuesday: With what is your heart filled?

Wednesday: How does your Joy impact your life?

Thursday: How do you encounter Jesus – In Word? In Sacrament? In Human Persons? In Creation?

Friday: What is your experience of Salvation? What are you saved from?  What are you saved for?

Saturday: How do you experience being set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness?

Sunday: How is Joy born in you anew through Christ?


Easter Questions:


Monday: Where do you experience encouragement?

Tuesday: How do you express your fidelity to Christ – your belonging to the Christian aithful?

Wednesday: How do you choose to enter into a new chapter of Evangelization?

Thursday: How are you personally marked by Joy?

Friday: What new paths are opening up for you?

Saturday: How is your journey with the Church being renewed?

Sunday: What do you see in the years ahead for the Church as she renews her Joy in the Gospel?


For your own planning, each week:


Find a form of Prayer – opening to Christ’s Gift of Himself. Read and ponder the Sacred

Scriptures. Attend a celebration of the Stations of the Cross in a local parish. Spend some time in

Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.


Find a manner of Fasting – entering into the act of self-emptying.

Consider several different ways to fast; all are invited to find their own level:

* Abstain from meat;

* Eat only one large meal (no snacks);

* Experience a total fast (no food at all);

* Fast during daylight hours;

* Fast from certain activities or behaviors.


Respond to the call to Almsgiving – making an offering of self. Give alms, sharing materially and personally what God has given you with someone in need. Choose a personal charity or find an action that “costs” you something personally.


* * * * * * *

Let us live this Lent with the intention to draw close to the God Who seeks to be closer to us and to pray for the triumph of God’s Justice in our broken world.  Led into the desert, let us cooperate with works of Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, to grow in the grace that is needed for our time and in our capacity to fast in order to open space for God.


Overall Petition for the Cyber Retreat


Encounter with Jesus Christ: That all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, may experience a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them, and that all may do this unfailingly each day.


Petitions for Each Week of Lent

Week I – Collaboration in Evangelization. That priests, religious, and lay people may work together with generosity.

Week II – Vocations. That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

Week III – Respect for Women. That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.

Week IV – Parish and Community Life. That all the members and families of every parish and

community may listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him, and that we may share the Joy of the Gospel with everyone we meet along the Way

Week V – Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.

Week VI – Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


Resources for Lent from the US Catholic Bishops:

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