Oh no you almost forgot about Lent or a little bit late in planning. Don’t worry, EpicPew has you covered.
In the “olden days,” we would currently be at the beginning of Septuagesima, the pre-Lenten period of voluntary penance that would help us get ready for Lent. The “Alleluias” were tucked away until Easter and plans for Lent began. Though this period is not widely practiced, those who attend Latin Mass still observe this period.
“What about those of us who don’t attend Latin Mass?” you may be asking. “Can we still observe this period?” Of course! In fact, why not start planning for Lent right now so that it doesn’t sneak up on you this year? Here are five short suggestions for you to start preparing for Lent.
Do a Holy Hour
Take advantage of the time we still have before Lent and do a Holy Hour on the first Friday of March. If you can’t do a full hour, try at least five-to-ten minutes of silence at nearest parish offering Adoration. Ask God to reveal to you what he wants you to focus on this Lenten season.
Think about what you should give up for Lent sooner than later
Figure out what you want to do as your penitential act this upcoming Lenten season. Try not to look at what you want to do as a re-do on any failed New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, take an honest inventory of your spiritual life and see what you can do to deepen your relationship with God.
Add an act of charity
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to add to your list instead of taking something away. If you’re struggling with a particular vice, perhaps you can think of ways to cultivate the opposite corresponding virtue. For example, do you struggle with being jealous of what others have (vice: sin of envy)? You can go visit an elderly patient who gets no visitors at your local nursing home (virtue: kindness).
Explore older traditions that have been forgotten
Had you never heard of Septuagesima before reading this article? Read more about it on a number of solid Catholic websites. Maybe you’ll be inspired to observe the rest of the season in new ways. Want to involve the family in new (to you) ways? Get ideas from books such as Maria von Trapp’s Around the Year with the Von Trapp Family and see how the von Trapp family used to celebrate the days leading up to Lent as well as Lent itself.
Think outside the box
We all see the same things being given up every year. Social media, sugar, candy, soda, red meat, etc. Considering thinking about of the box and finding something that would be a bit more personally challenging. If you can’t think of something, ask your family and friends for any ideas if you’re stuck. After all, they may see something in you that you may be blind to but that may help you grow in your spiritual life.
These are just some suggestions on how you can make the most of this pre-Lenten time. If you can think of something else that would be beneficial to you—or others!—feel free to share!