Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
As we are all aware, Lent has begun. It is about right now that we realize we don’t have any Lenten practices yet or the ones we chose need some tweaking. It is never too late to start!
Here are some suggestions from an article from Busted Halo (a great resource in general). https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent. While they offer 25 suggestions, I want to highlight a few:
- Make a commitment to read the Sunday scriptures before you go to Mass. In the same way that reading up on football players, opposing teams, and coaching strategies will help you experience a game more fully, familiarizing yourself with the readings ahead of time will help you experience them in a deeper way on Sunday.
- Use Busted Halo’s Lent Calendar, filled with Lenten-themed Daily Jolts and MicroChallenges to find new ways to practice the disciplines of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Each day of Lent, we’ll offer an inspirational quote paired with a practical, challenging task that you can do that day to help keep your spiritual life on point.
- Think about what you usually spend your money on. Do you buy too many clothes? Spend too much on dinner out? Pick one type of expenditure that you’ll “fast” from during Lent, and then give the money you would usually spend to a local charity.
- Go to a weekday Mass one day during the week. Many parishes offer them early in the morning, at noon, or after work. Daily Masses are often more intimate and shorter than Sunday Mass.
- Unplug from your iPhone or turn off your car radio on your commute. The silence may be jarring at first, but you may find that you are able to concentrate better and will be more observant of your surroundings.
- Think about a habit that has kept you from being whom God is calling you to be. Consciously give up that habit for Lent.
- Spend at least one weekend or evening volunteering during Lent. Serve a meal at your local soup kitchen. Visit the elderly. Stock shelves at a food pantry.
- Make a commitment to fast from insensitive, cruel comments about others. So, no gossiping or going down the Twitter rabbit hole.
- Pray for somebody. As you’re walking the streets, driving the highways, or sitting in your cubicle at work, pick out a person who appears to be in need and pray for that person. Be mindful of the words of philosopher Philo of Alexandria, who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”
- Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Can’t remember how? Here’s a simple guide with some tips. Tell the priest it’s been a while, and ask him to guide you through it.