February 17, 2015

Ash Wednesday 2015: Twenty-Five Ways to Live the Lenten Season

Lent is a time of enormous grace and spiritual renewal. It is a season of solemnity and sacrifice commemorating Christ’s exodus into the desert; our sacrifice is a reminder of the self-sacrifice Jesus made to save us from our sins. The three main components to Lenten observance are: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  I have taken Father Michael Najim’s original “25 ways to live the Lenten season,” and added/subtracted a few ways. They are in no particular order. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. At the end of the article are additional Lenten resources for your consideration. May your Lent be fruitful, prayerful, and grace filled!

1) Read Sacred Scripture

2) Read a spiritual book for ten minutes

3) Spend ten minutes in silence

4) Pray the rosary

5) Pray the Way of the Cross

6) Say the Divine Mercy Chaplet every Friday during Lent at 3:00 PM (the hour of Divine Mercy)

7) Attend daily Mass or go once or twice during the week besides Sunday

8) Put aside $1-$2 a day and give it to charity at the end of Lent

9) Give up desserts

10). Go to Confession

11) Give up alcohol

12) Give up or cut down on coffee or tea

13) Give up bread

14) Wake up earlier than usual

15) Go to bed earlier than usual

16) Give up or spend less time online, especially social networking sites

17) Give up or cut down on television

18) Take time for self-examination and reflection

19) Cut down on the number of times a day you check email

20) Fast on Fridays if your health allows (one meal or just bread and water)

21) In addition to sacrificing, add something to your Lenten routine.

22) Volunteer at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or another place that is committed to serving the poor, addicted, or abused.

23) Remain calm when driving

24) Simplify your life: each week go through your closets and drawers and get rid of clothes and give them to the needy; each week get rid of books and find a place to give them away

25) Begin and end your day on your knees

Lenten Resources:

The Church's official position concerning penance and abstinence from meat during Lent

Video: What are the Practices of Lent? Fr. Robert Barron – Word on Fire 

Lenten Reflection by Fr. James Kubicki

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