It's that time of year again! As we stare down the beginning of Lent in about two short weeks, many Catholics are beginning of think of what their Lenten discipline will be. Will you go for the classics and give up chocolate or Facebook? Will you add something instead, vowing to do a weekly rosary or a daily time of prayer? Or will you do something different? While we'll be posting lots of different resources and ideas to get you started thinking about how to make Lent an effective time of spiritual wellness, we're offering something a little different this year at the Newman Center: Synergos
What is synergos? It's a Greek word found in the New Testament, used frequently when Paul references his friends in ministry (see all the references here). Synergos (pronouned "soon-er-gos") is used to refer to such Biblical powerhouses as Priscilla, Aquilla, and Timothy, and shows up in letters to the churches in Rome, Corinth, Phillipi, Thessalonica, and more. It's translated as "companion in labor", "fellow helper", "workfellow", and "co-worker".
So what exactly is synergos in our context? It's a a companion in labor, a co-worker for Lent. It's based on the idea that, while we have good intentions, sometimes we choose Lenten disciplines that make us uncomfortable, but only slightly so.
They miss the mark.
They could go deeper.
We know it, and our friends know it.
But do you know what else our friends know?
What makes us better people.
Simply put: a synergos is a person who chooses your Lenten discipline for you, because they know what would really bring you closer to Christ.
Here's how it goes:
Starting today, and ending on Monday, February 8th, you can put your name in to be assigned a synergos and to be a synergos for someone else
When you do, the Campus Minister will pair you up with someone who she feels knows you well
Once that happens, both participants will be notified via text who their synergos is
Your challenge: choose a Lenten discpline for your partner, and accept the discipline they've chosen for you
Sound difficult? Good, that's the point.
Participants in Synergos will receive their partner's information, along with resources on ideas for disciplines, prompts for discerning what to choose for their partner, and support throughout Lent. Although it's not required, we will encourage participants to pray with each other regularly throughout the Lenten season, and to celebrate together during Easter!