MISSION AND MINISTRY | Today in New Orleans revelers in a festive mood will take to the streets to celebrate Mardi Gras and the official end of the carnival season. The origin of the word “carnival” is frequently traced back to a Latin phrase meaning “farewell to flesh.” While this oft-attested etymology is probably a subsequent attempt to explain an already familiar tradition, the abrupt change in seasonal mood that it signals hits the mark. In New Orleans, weeks of parades, beads, and king cake will give way to the somber prayerfulness, repentance, and abstinence that characterize the ensuring 40 days of Lent beginning tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.
For many, Lent is synonymous with sacrifice: we give up candy or Facebook or not going to the gym. But Lent is not supposed to be about suffering for the sake of it; rather, it is a season for taking stock, for becoming conscious of habits that prevent us from drawing closer to God, to one another, and to our authentic selves. By breaking our patterns, Lent awakens us to the connections and the disconnections that define our lives. Under the best of circumstances, these forty days can be a time of joyful conversion as we become conscious of how we have been living – and of how we could be living. Indeed, this is Pope Francis’ hope for us in his Lenten message this year. “Lent,” he writes, “summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.”
To help all of us – those who believe and those who question – reflect on how we can come back to one another and to our broken world with whole and open hearts this Lent, the Ignatian Solidarity Network is offering a series of daily mediations by activists, advocates, and scholars working in the areas of immigration, racial justice, criminal justice reform, and environmentalism, including LMU’s own Cecilia González-Andrieu. You can learn more at https://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2018/02/05/break-forth-lenten-series-jesuit-network/.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Eucharistic Liturgies including the Distribution of Ashes will be celebrated on campus according to the following schedule:
- 7:30 a.m. – Leavey Chapel
- Noon – Sacred Heart Chapel
- 4 p.m. – University Hall – Ahmanson 1000
- 5 p.m. – Sacred Heart Chapel
- 10 p.m. – Sacred Heart Chapel