About The Book
We hope that through these daily readings, the reader will develop and strengthen their relationship with God as we journey with Him this Lent. The ebook can be experienced in a number of ways:
- Reflect during one’s personal prayer time, guided by the reading and reflection questions. reflecting on the questions during the day; readings can be used in a
- Reflect in a group setting, online or in-person. Consider using it to guide family prayer-time, to promote intimacy and guidance.
We invite you to join a group of Catholic in Recovery members to read through the daily reflection, pray, enjoy quiet time to meditate, share, and hear from others throughout Lent.
This group will meet each day of Lent at 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT for approximately 30 – 45 minutes, depending on group size.
Use this Zoom conference link to join:
However you decide to use the book, we are confident that your faith and recovery will be nourished during this Holy Season.
March 2, 2022 – Ash Wednesday
We begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, launching a 40-day retreat into the desert with Jesus. During this season of renewal and cleansing, we are strengthened in virtue by shedding things that keep us from knowing, loving, and serving Jesus. Today’s Gospel reading provides the what, how, and why of Lent from a perspective consistent with our daily practices in recovery.
Jesus refers to what are known as the three pillars of Lent—prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. As we learn in recovery, abstinence from a compulsive behavior, addictive substance, or unhealthy attachment is best achieved when replaced by self-sacrifice, service, and prayer. Therefore, we seek to make intentional progress in each of these three areas of our spiritual life over the next six weeks. How shall we do this? Jesus makes this very clear—do these things anonymously!
When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing so that your almsgiving may be secret. (Gospel Reading)
When you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. (Gospel Reading)
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. (Gospel Reading)
Why the secrecy? He might be putting a positive spin on a common phrase heard in the rooms of 12-step recovery meetings—you’re only as sick as your secrets. This refers to the shame that we carry as we hide the truth from ourselves, God, and others. Per Jesus, you’re only as healthy as your secrets. As we commit to regular, anonymous acts of prayer, self-sacrifice, and sharing what we have (while deflecting glory to God), we begin to see our soul heal and become well. As such, we get to witness the miracle of another day free from the shackles of addiction.
What commitments are you making toward prayer, fasting, and almsgiving this Lent?
How do you relate to the notion that you’re only as sick or as healthy as your secrets? What secrets define your spiritual health?
First Reading: Joel 2:12-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2
Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
About the authors
Members of the Catholic in Recovery community – 14 in all – came together to write about their experiences, strength, and hope while reflecting on the Catholic liturgical readings for Lent, 2022. The result is Catholic in Recovery’s first Lenten reflection ebook.
Each contributor shares their personal experience of recovery and the Catholic faith. The reflections represent each contributor’s unique perspective and experience. Members come from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and experience of recovery. Their experiences with addictions, compulsions and unhealthy attachments are also quite varied. The unifying principle is the love and mercy God has shown by healing members through the 12-Steps and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.