Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Preparing for a Holy Lent
The following are suggestions for keeping a holy Lent during this 40 day journey. There are many, many more things you can do to grow spiritually this Lenten season, such as journeying with Jesus as He carries His cross, with the Stations of the Cross. Most parishes do this during Lent. These are just some ideas that I wanted to share with you.
1. Read only spiritual books, books that will feed your soul. Refrain from reading secular books and magazines.
2. In the same vein, try to avoid watching television programs or movies that are secular in nature. There is excellent Lenten programming on EWTN. Be sure to check out their schedule. You can even sign up for their weekly programming schedule at their website. This is also a good opportunity to watch good movies with your family. There are many excellent movies with Catholic themes available at local public libraries too. Vatican's Best Films List
3. Make a holy hour of Eucharistic adoration. If you are already doing so, make an additional hour or more of adoration.
4. Attend daily Mass during Lent.
5. Considering praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet at other times during the day, in addition to the 3:00 PM traditional time, for a soul in need of mercy.
6. Consider the 40 Trash-Bag Challenge as a way of de-cluttering and simplifying one's life during Lent. A H/T to Ellen for this suggestion.
7. Pray the Holy Rosary with your family every evening during Lent, if you do not do this regularly. If you do, pray an extra Rosary for someone else's intentions.
8. Pray the Litany of Humility daily during Lent. The Litany can be found on this blog's sidebar.
9. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, parish food pantry, or homeless shelter during Lent.
10. Go through your closets and dresser drawers, pull out clothes that you do not wear and donate them to a homeless shelter or a family in need.
11. If you are an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, consider volunteering to bring Holy Communion to the hospital bound patients.
12. Consider writing someone in prison a letter like falsely imprisoned priest Fr. Gordon MacRae. You can find his story and contact information here
13. Have Masses offered for someone who died. Have the Mass card sent to the family.
14. Try to patiently bear the crosses that will inevitably come your way.
15. If someone you know is doing something morally wrong, offer your Holy Communion for that person.
16. During these 40 Days, consider depriving yourself of the company of too many people. Try to limit your get-togethers, lunches, etc. until after Easter.
17. Make a thorough examination of conscience and go to Confession during the Lenten season.
18. Try very hard not to speak about yourself. Listen quietly while others talk about themselves.
19. Bring up a spiritual topic at dinner time and let everyone in the family contribute to the discussion.
20. Before speaking, picture Christ crucified before you so that you may temper your words with kindness and humility.
21. Forgive someone who has hurt you deeply, from the bottom of your heart.
22. Sign up for the Spring 40 Days for Life closest to you and make a commitment to pray in front of an abortion clinic. You may be saving someone's live that day.
23. Pray the act of contrition wholeheartedly, every evening during Lent.
24. Pray for a person who you find difficult to love.
25. Consider offering lunch or money to a street person, especially one who is really down and out. Do not worry what he or she will do with the money. Just see Jesus in that person.
26. If you are unable to offer lunch or money to a street person, at least smile kindly and greet them. Confirm in them that you see them as a child of God.
*27. Think of the relationship in your life where pride is the most destructive and take concrete steps to deal with that person more positively and humbly.
*28. Be the first to offer an apology when the need arises, for the sake of peace and unity.
29. Read True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis de Montfort and prepare yourself to consecrate yourself to her. The online version can be found on this blog's sidebar.
*30. Take a hard look at your life to identify the areas where duplicity manifests itself and take a concrete step toward living with more integrity.
*31. Think of the people you dislike or are indifferent to, and consider at least one of their good qualities. If the opportunity arises, speak well of them, and if possible, do a good deed for them.
32. Fast from social networking such as Facebook or Twitter during Lent.
33. Make a sacrifice and only eat three moderate meals during Lent, try abstaining from unnecessary snacking.
34. Drink only water with your meals during Lent, as an act of mortification.
35. Let others help themselves first, even if it means you will end up with lesser portions of food or the least appetizing pieces.
36. Refrain from adding salt if salt is needed or sugar if something is not sweet enough.
38. Put other people's interest first, especially if you do not like a particular person.
39. Consider spiritually adopting a priest during Lent, even if only God and you know about it. Pray daily and offer sacrifices for your spiritual son.
40. If you fail in your Lenten resolutions, ask God for strength and resolve with your whole heart and mind to do even better the next day.
*A few of the above suggestions came from past Lenten Resolutions shared by Regnum Christi.