Wednesday, February 8, 2017

40 Suggestions for "Best Ever Lent" Part One

Lent is coming.  Ash Wednesday is March 1.  It's not too early to think about what you might do to make this "the best Lent ever."  Let me offer 40 suggestions to help you, in recognition of the 40 days of Lent.  Pray over this list, pick one or two (NOT all 40!) and commit to them.  

These are adapted from suggestions I made for New Castle folks.  Here's ##1-20.

  1. Read the daily Scriptural readings for each Mass in Lent.
  2. Say a decade of the rosary each day, or even a rosary each day.
  3. Volunteer at a local food pantry.
  4. Have a technology-free day.  Put away your cell phone, tablet, games, email and telephone.  Spend time with your family, your spouse, a friend, or just time in quiet reflection.
  5. Go to one daily Mass each week during Lent.
  6. Attend the Stations of the Cross on Fridays (check your parish bulletin for schedule).
  7. Invite someone to join you when you go to confession at a Lenten penance service.
  8. Make a really really generous pledge or gift to the diocesan Parish Share Program for your parish.
  9. Join a local Bible study.
  10. Give up using curse or vulgar words.  Penalize yourself $1 per word, and give the money to Catholic Charities.

  1. Telephone a family member you've lost touch with.
  2. Donate articles of clean clothing you haven't worn or don't need to the St. Vincent de Paul Society stores or Goodwill.
  3. One week in Lent pray for Pope Francis.  One day each week pray for all church leaders.
  4. Visit a local Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.  Sepnd 30 minutes in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
  5. Before you go to bed each night, say the Jesus prayer:  "Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
  6. Fast from cruel comments about neighbors or co-workers.  Avoid gossiping or reading celebritye tabloids.
  7. Make a list of the excesses in your life.  Think about which ones you could do without.
  8. If you don't have a cross or crucifix in your home or apartment, buy a simple one and put it in your bedroom.
  9. Get some friends together and go to a local church, VFW or club for Fish Fry meal on Fridays in Lent.  
  10. Research a charity you are interested in and commit to giving either time or a donation each month for the rest of the year.  Find a way to gie time and talent to your parish by volunteering.

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