Catholic Relief Services and the CRS Rice Bowl program have created a compelling Lenten video series that asks "What is Lent?". For eight days, I am sharing each of the videos here at the blog. I hope you'll join me in this brief retreat. I believe you'll find, as I have, that these videos lead to deeper reflection and increased motivation.

Today, we hear from Ron Hansen:

CRS Global Fellow and Catholic author, Ron Hansen talks about Almsgiving and its role during the Lenten season.

In the close of his video, Ron Hansen reminds us that "Lent is giving so that others might flourish." As I've witnessed firsthand, this is the type of giving that is at the heart of Catholic Relief Services' work around the world. Whether it is the work they do in emergency situations such as a natural disaster or the long-term programatic initiatives they undertake, CRS is all about leaving people better prepared to build their own stronger future.

Ron's reminder to me today is that often, financial giving is much easier to offer than the true kind of "giving" people really need. Sometimes, what's more need to help someone flourish is time, understanding, compassion or commitment. And often, those are a greater challenge for me to give than a dollar into a collection plate may be.

But we're reminded so often that in giving, we too receive. The "flourishing" is mutual, as we help someone in need but we too are gifted with God's grace in that moment.

Who will you help flourish this Lenten season?

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