Holy Moses! We’re already halfway through Lent. How are you doing? Maybe you don’t have a plan, still, but don’t worry. Even just a few hours is enough time to nail down a plan… um… is that an appropriate pun? Yikes.
Pray, Fast, and Give, let’s do this!
Beginner level, adding prayer to your day every day. Here’s an easy way: change your alarm clock to worship music or chanting. Naturally you will begin the day surrounded by prayers and all you need to add is a sign of the cross and a “Good morning, God!” instead of the usual, “Good God, it’s morning.”
Intermediate, you pray at least a little every day but want to grow in your devotion. Pick a popular prayer or chaplet or a series of novenas to pray daily through lLent. It can be one single prayer such as the Jesus Prayer from St. Faustina, the Holy Rosary, the Divine Mercy, or even journaling a thought or two to God in a journal if that’s more your style.
Let’s jump into the hours and pray with the Church! The whole thing is going to take some guidance and is a large time commitment. If that’s what you want to do find someone to lead you through and go for it! If that’s too much, pick morning or night prayers to begin with. There are books that will lead you through this very gently or even podcasts where they are sung. They are beautiful and a wonderful way to begin and end the day. Add some incense to make it more fun and fill the house with the aroma of your worship.
Spiritual readings are a way that I love to pray and grow in my spiritual life. It doesn’t have to be Lenten themed, but there are some great ones or even book clubs that are taking books and in their reflections this read through they are working on looking at it through the eyes of Lent.
We are all required to fast on specific days through Lent following our first communion. Let’s watch those portions even if we go to the local soup fest or fish fry at Church. Fasting doesn’t need to be miserable but it should be done with the right spirit and not just abstaining from meat.
What are some other things we can give up as a personal penance for Lent? The first thing I encourage my family to look at is anything that is keeping us from God in some way and working towards amending that as we prepare ourselves for the observance of the crucifixion and the celebration of his victory over sin and death. What can we die to self with in some small or even large way that will leave us better on the other side? Is there some form of gluttony or vanity you can give up? If you have to interact with any other human being, I advise you not to give up something that makes living with you through Lent a penance for everyone else.
To learn more about fasting for lent and all other forms while getting some new recipe ideas at the same time that are appropriate, check out this new cookbook with 50+ pages of essays on fasting that will teach you so much more that you ever knew to ask about the subject and gorgeous pictures of the recipes provided from a former member of the Vatican’s Swiss Guard. Click here to get your copy!
Do you give of your time, treasure and talents? Now is a great time to step up! Maybe your lifestyle is that of constantly giving up these things, but you want to branch out or maybe you branch out so much that it might be helpful to focus in and pick some things that really speak to your heart.
Now is a fantastic way to grow in the corporal works of mercy. Maybe think of a few ways you can easily build some habits you want to keep year round.
Tithing your treasure and time in service to the church is something we should all be doing and then inspired to reach out to our communities because of it. Remember the poor aren’t just those who need things for daily living, but also those who are poor in time and care. Let’s be Jesus to the world by starting in our homes and then out to our communities.
Pray, Fast, Give. Let’s have a great season of pruning and tilling so we can be fertile ground for God to work in and have abundant fruit as the year continues forward.
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