51-60 For Those With Lives Out of Balance
- Go for a walk each day. Take a friend or loved one and talk about your faith life.
- If you have children, take your kids to a park for carefree time.
- Give up fast food and give the money to charity. [OUCH, this one would be hard for me!]
- Exercise daily.
- Sit down with your spouse once a week for 30 minutes and have a meaningful conversation about your marriage.
- Go on a Lenten retreat; or schedule yourself to go on a retreat during the summer.
- Pray with the website "Sacred Space" ( www.sacredspace.ie ) often.
- Commit to pray for the poor every morning.
- Begin the online "34-week Retreat for Everyday Life."
- Give up your most unhealthy habit.
61-70 For Those Who Need Spiritual Nourishment
- Read the four constitutions of the Documents of Vatican II. Begin with Gaudium et Spes.
- Buy "The U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults" and read a chapter a week.
- Sign up for an adult formation course in your parish or a nearby parish/retreat center.
- Join a bible study.
- Attend the Stations of the Cross.
- Read "The Imitation of Christ" or purchase a subscription to a Catholic magazine.
- Listen to a Catholic book by rented audio in your car. Or listen to the audio version of the New Testament books in your car.
- Find a spiritual director for yourself.
- Read "The Introduction to the Devout Life" or the "Confessions of St. Augustine."
- Read Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical, Deus Caritas Est, or one of his three-volume reflections on the Gospels, "Jesus of Nazareth."
71-80 For Those Who Need to Increase Their Service to the Needy
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, pantry or food program.
- Coordinate a blood drive at your church.
- Find out who is sick in your parish and offer to visit them. If you do not have transportation, inquire if your church has a "card ministry" of sending cards to the shut-ins and sick, and participate.
- Call your local Catholic Charities office and volunteer your time.
- Begin making visits to a nearby nursing home or hospital.
- Help an elderly or disabled person in your neighborhood with yard work or rides.
- Find out if your diocese has a legislative action committee, and assist in lobbying political leaders on important social/moral legislation.
- Become part of a prison ministry team.
- Coordinate a clothing drive.
- Make rosaries and give them away.
81-90 For Those Who Wish to be More Active in Their Parish
- If your pastor doesn't know your name, introduce yourself after Sunday Mass, and ask if you can take him out to breakfast.
- Become a lector or eucharistic minister or usher/hospitality greeter.
- Volunteer to help with the parish youth group, or preparing funeral luncheons for the bereaved.
- After Sunday Mass introduce yourself to someone sitting next to you whom you don't know.
- Join the Knights of Columbus.
- Call the religious education director and offer to be a Confirmation sponsor.
- Sing at Sunday Mass.
- Help with the RCIA program.
- Volunteer to the parish business manager to do lawn work, maintenance, or some professional service.
- Think of a ministry that your parish does not have, talk with the pastor, and offer to begin it.
91-100 Potpourri for Lent
- Make a personal commitment to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation three times a year.
- Give up foul or vulgar language, or viewing pornography on the internet. Put a dollar in a bowl for every time you slip, and give the money away.
- Hold yourself back from gossiping.
- Study the lives of saints who interest you.
- Begin practicing socially conscious investing.
- Inform yourself about the seven principles of Catholic social teaching.
- Take your pastor out to lunch or dinner. [Sorry, that's so self-serving.]
- Pray for your bishop and the pope.
- Resolve to know Jesus in a personal way as a friend by the end of Lent and the celebration of Easter.
P.S. I found most of these on the "Young Fogeys" blog of Father Jay Toborowsky, of New Jersey, from a post dated February 23, 2012. He attributed most of them to a friend of his, Father Greg Shaffer, a chaplain at George Washington University in Washington, DC. An internet thanks to both of them.