Posted February 18th, 2015 | CRS Rice Bowl, Menu Inspiration, Video

CRS Rice Bowl Week 1 Recipe:

 Ugali with Bean Soup from Tanzania

LENT is here, and my video, as part of the #ShareJesus campaign, kicks off this forty-day journey! Redeemed Online is seeking to bring brief videos and guidance from a number of speakers, including Mark Hart, Leah Darrow, Fr. Mike Schmitz, and more straight to your inbox each day in Lent. CLICK HERE to read more. You can sign up for #ShareJesus here!

#ShareJesus Video 1: Ash Wednesday- the shocking good news

It would be silly to think that we can get all the religion and holiness we need in just 40 days of Lent. But it’s a good start.  A good and holy life requires just that: an entire LIFE!  These 40 focused days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are reminders of Christ’s suffering and the suffering of Christians and innocent people around world.  In the midst of the economical challenges, weather-related problems, promotion of dysfunctional relationships in movies and music, and of course, the Muslim extreme terrorist groups who are making new Christian Saint martyrs by their hate-filled religious ideas, it’s helpful to take this focused time of compassion to better understand and follow the heart of the True God – who feeds, comforts, and heals.  The ‘god’ who creates fear, division, and war reveals how Satan, the anti-Christ, is alive and well. In these 40 days, we enter into the desert with Jesus and do battle with the devil.  But, our weapon of choice is restraint of our passions and unleashing the Holy Spirit that gives us Joy!


Winning over souls requires joyful people who are joyfully in love with Jesus

So, today and for the next 40 days CELEBRATE your faith.  That means, live it joyfully!  An authentic practice of our faith doesn’t indoctrinate or force a conversion of people. That’s what the Muslim terrorist groups are doing.  Instead, truly celebrate your faith in Jesus joyfully.  In this way, as Pope Francis reminds us, we will win many hearts for the Lord – the true God and giver of Life!


Recently, the US Ambassador to the Holy See invited me to his home, with a few seminarians from the Pontifical North American College, after a day of cooking for a religious home that cared for women and their children involved in human trafficking.

To help you celebrate in this Lenten Season, consider these internationally inspired recipes from the CRS Rice Bowls.  The food is tasty and the recipes are easy enough to follow.  You can even switch it up a bit for your family’s mealtime needs.  During dinner, be sure to have conversations about the country and the people who inspire these CRS Rice Bowl Global Kitchen recipes.  When we dialogue and have healthy conversations with people, we experience conversions.  Yes, conversations lead to conversions.  In this 40 days of Lent, begin an authentic conversation with God (called prayer) and see who the Lord will bring to your table and next mealtime celebration.


Click to watch how to make Ugali with Bean Soup from Tanzania, courtesy of CRS Rice Bowl’s Global Kitchen and Fr. Leo.


Food for Thought:

(1)  Have you ever made a CRS Rice Bowl Recipe?  Which is your favorite?

(2)  What’s your favorite go-to-Lenten-Friday recipe?

Please offer your comments below as they help us and our community continue the Grace Before Meals conversation.  Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Consider bringing Fr. Leo and the Grace Before Meals message or some of his other fantastic presentations to your parish, clergy convocation, or keynote event.  Click here for booking information.

  Let Us Pray:

(Prayer from the Ash Wednesday Liturgy from the Roman Missal)

“Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”


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