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From ashes to hashtags: how we live Lent in 2019

By Cian Molloy - 01 April, 2019

Bishop Farrell giving his minute-long #LiveLent meditation.

Irish bishops are using the hashtag #LiveLent2019 to promote this year’s Lenten observance and reflection.

Every day since the start of the 40-day period of solemn observance, the Irish hierarchy has been posing inspirational/devotional message on Catholic Bishops Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The posts feature prayers and scripture suggestions, opportunities for penance and fasting in our daily lives (such fasting from gossip, fasting from negativity online, fasting from certain foods, etc) and suggestions of charitable acts (such as donating funds to charity, donating your time by volunteering or just being better at helping out those around you).

For example, yesterday’s #LiveLent2019 message was a link to a one-minute reflection by Bishop Dermot Farrell of Ossory, where he says: “The season of Lent is meant to help us to clarify our Christian vision and, above all, to bring our lives into conformity with the life of Jesus Christ.

“The church gives us three ways to do that: by prayer, by fasting and by alms giving. In those three ways we are trying to deepen our faith. We are re-evaluating our lives, trying to work out what our priorities are and, with God’s help and God’s grace, to transform our lives. We do that through repentance, which is the condition and possibility of living a truly Christian life.

“So, my prayer is that during Lent we will deepen our faith through prayer, spending more time with the Lord. That we will do some fasting and, ultimately, that fasting will help us to care for the poor and the less well off in our society.”

The #LiveLent hashtag was first used on Twitter last year by the Church of England, but now quite a few groups are using it, as a quick Google search will reveal. Shannon parish features prominently in results, but so too did a number of Anglican parishes based in England.

Social media aside, there is a wide range of online Lenten Resources, useful for parishes, schools and individuals, available on the Irish bishops’ website.

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