RE-humanize this Lent

Reflection Questions and Responses

See below the reflection responses and feedback from some of our members who attended RE-humanize the Lent. We offer these as a way to open dialogue and thus build relationships, something desperately needed in these troubling times.

Each week’s questions will be posted below the appropriate heading. (Jump to each specific week using the bookmarks in the beige strip below.)

To submit a response, click here.

Week 1      Week 2     Week 3     Week 4     Week 5     Week 6     Week 7

Week One

What are my initial thoughts about the connection between speech that demonizes others and potential violence as well as polarization? Did anything I heard in the presentations surprise me or make me see the issue in a new light? Might I be called to re-examine my own speech during this sacred season?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

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Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

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On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Two

In the Gospel according to Luke (4:1-13), Jesus is tempted by the devil to abuse his power as the Son of God in several ways. As a child of God, can I think of times when I have underestimated or undervalued the power of my speech, thereby causing harm, even if unintentionally? And times when I’ve underestimated the power of my speech to do good?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Three

Cardinal Sean O’Malley has quoted Pope Paul VI in saying that dehumanizing discourse, including racism, not only wounds its target but that the speaker is also “mutilated by their selfishness.” In what way might my selfishness–the perceived self-interest that causes me to distance myself from others with whom I am at odds–mutilate me? Has my image of anyone been “mutilated” after I heard that person use dehumanizing or demonizing language about another?

(Sources: See this recent talk by Cardinal O’Malley, as well as this 2007 post.)

Suggested action: Take a walk outside to find signs of the changing season, such as green shoots or blooms on plants springing out of older, dried out growth. Take a photo and use it to remind yourself that you can change–and others can as well.

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Four

When was the last time you gave yourself the opportunity to have a serious conversation with someone with whom you didn’t agree, thereby allowing yourself to learn and grow? If you have avoided such conversations–or had them and regretted how they went–how could you approach the next one with a re-humanizing lens so as to be more open to growth?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Five

While we often think of political violence as involving many people (rioting, insurgency, etc.) or targeting elected officials, it can also involve acts or threats against ordinary citizens. A recent poll of nearly 600 local electoral officials showed that 77% believed that threats to their safety had increased in recent years and 17% had personally experienced threats, which often started with being demonized as “traitors.”

Ask yourself: How can I become more alert to potential violence or threats of violence taking place in my state or community?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Six

When have I spoken up for someone else who was dehumanized or demonized for their views?  Was it someone with whose views I agreed or disagreed?  What words did I use to object to their dehumanization and how did that go?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...

Week Seven

How has this Lenten process of considering the links among dehumanization, polarization, and political violence changed my way of thinking and/or behaving? What new tools have I acquired to cope with these issues? What’s the best tip I have learned to help me be a RE-humanizer? What new questions do I have?

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

Environmental Justice Webinars: 2023

In 2023, our Working for Environmental Justice campaign focused attention on three regions in our nation – the Permian Basin and Chaco Canyon in New...

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Preparing our Hearts to be Peacemakers

Please join the Franciscan Action Network on Thursday, February 29 at 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) for a Lenten program, “Preparing our Hearts to be...

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

Christians for Ceasefire Campaign

A broad coalition of national and local Christian organizations and nonviolent peacemakers have envisioned a Ceasefire Campaign rooted in the...

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

Ceasefire Ash Wednesday Mass

On February 14, 2024, Christians for Ceasefire held an Ash Wednesday Catholic Mass and Public Witness for Peace in the Holy Land at the White House...