Tuesday, February 24, 2009

40 Ways to Improve Your Lent


This is an interesting list that I found when researching ways to make my Lent more meaningful. This list is a few years old, but is still relevant. I changed the original 26 which suggested watching "The Passion of Christ" instead of the Academy Awards. The Academy Awards were this past weekend, so I suggested watching the "Passion of Christ" anyways.

40 Ways to Improve Your Lent

By Brian T. Olszewski
Catholic Herald Staff


During Lent, the church instructs its members to make prayer, fasting and almsgiving integral parts of their lives. For you who wish to supplement your spiritual diet, your Catholic Herald presents the following 40 options for prayer, fasting and almsgiving, in no particular order, as ways to help you experience a grace-filled Lent — a Lent in which you deepen your relationship with God.

1. Learn about your patron saint.
2. Pray for — by name — people you don’t like and for people that don’t like you.
3. Participate in a healing service.
4. Read a Catholic magazine every time you visit the library.
5. March 19, in honor of St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters and fathers, build or build upon a relationship with one of your children.
6. Buy two of everything on your grocery list, and give the duplicates to the local food pantry.
7. Find out why you should have fun on Laetare Sunday, and then do so.
8. Start a “cuss bowl.” For every unkind word you utter, put in a dollar — two dollars during Holy Week. After Easter, give the money to an English as a second language program.
9. Bring a “Baltimore Catechism” to a gathering of Catholic friends, and start asking each other questions.
10. Give away a material item you really value.
11. Pray for those, e.g., children, parents, spouse, siblings, who have left the church.
12. Talk to a neighbor you rarely or never talk to.
13. Keep a dish of ashes in a prominent place as a constant reminder of the season.
14. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
15. Test your knowledge of Scripture.
16. Read a biography about Archbishop Oscar Romero and/or watch the video “Romero.”
17. Open a Christmas Club account with the intention of giving the money to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
18. Visit a church when you don’t have to.
19. Reserve a button on your car stereo for the Relevant Radio station in your area.
20. Pray the news — for the people whose stories of hardship are reported daily and weekly.
21. Read an entry from a Catholic encyclopedia.
22. Attend Mass at a parish other than your own
23. Tithe your tax return.
24. If Catholic schools get NCAA tournament bids, learn for whom those schools were named.
25. Observe five minutes of silence every day.
26. Watch “The Passion of the Christ.”
27. Use a Lenten theme in decorating part of a room.
28. Memorize a Proverb.
29. Participate in a faith formation presentation.
30. Tell someone your story(ies) of faith, how God has made a difference in your life.
31. Disconnect the TV and/or the computer.
32. Identify your God-given gifts, how you use them, and how you could use them better.
33. Fast from gossip.
34. Pull the rosary out of your drawer and say it. Too boring? Say the Scriptural rosary.
35. Remove your watch before leaving for church on Palm Sunday.
36. Develop a prayer list.
37. Read a history of the papacy.
38. Find out who Raamah, Putiel, and Uzzah are.
39. Sacrifice your time in order to help others.
40. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.”

2 comments:

  1. Check out this new Traditionalist Catholic band that just released their first album. From what I heard on the samples site, they sound really good.Introducing the new Christian National Anthem: Guns & Jesus.http://ccrg.info/cas.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't know if all 40 would work for us (our tax refund is spent!), but I"m going to work in several of these ideas.Thanks for the list.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. May God bless you.

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