Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lenten Retreat on a DVD ....

If you're like me, Lent kind of sneaks up on you.  I'm never as prepared as I should be ... with offerings/sacrifices, spiritual reading, and/or Lenten retreats scheduled.  Or, if I am prepared, I realize that Lent is longer than I thought, and I need something more to read, listen to, or sacrifice (and, yes, I know that Lent is always 40 days ... but some years it just seems longer!).

If you are like me, have I got a great suggestion for you:  Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues is a retreat in a box, all ready for you to watch and listen and meditate upon.  Fr. Robert Barron (whose Conversion cd/study guide set I reviewed recently) takes the seven capital sins of pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony and lust and explains why they are present in our lives and how to eradicate them.  He gives great practical advice on how to turn these sins into the seven virtues of humility, admiration, forgiveness, zeal, generosity, asceticism and chastity.  A recurring theme is that sin is caused by our own fear (thus, pride is the root of all sin) that can only be conquered by true love, the love that God shows us all round (see the meaning of faith) and that Christ showed us when he died on the Cross.

This DVD is great!  In just under two hours, the viewer understands how Dante's Purgatorio is peopled with sinners and why he assigns them the punishments he assigns (for instance, those who are in purgatory because they were gluttons in life are shown as repeating ad infinitum Psalm 51:17: Lord, open my lips and I will sing your praises).  Barron does a wonderful job of giving practical advice on how to begin to counteract these sins in our own lives.  It's interesting to hear him mention such folks as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. when giving examples of how to be a better person!

I recommend Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues to all Catholics, particularly middle-school and above.    In the video, Fr. Barron is speaking to adults, but there is no reason why tweens and teens shouldn't hear Barron's advice, especially if you need some Lenten retreat material!

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively Virtues CD Bundle . They are also a great source for serenity prayer and baptism gifts.


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