Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which begins the season of Lent. Lent is a time of great grace, a time a spiritual renewal. Traditionally there are three main components to Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. So, here are 25 ways to live the Lenten season in a spirit of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. There is no particular order to these 25 ways, and I don’t pretend that these are the best or most creative ways. However, if you’re looking for some ideas, hopefully you will find one or two here. I’d love to hear some ways that you are planning to enter into the spirit of Lent, so please feel free to leave a comment. Your comments may be helpful to the readers of this blog as well.
Without further ado, here are 25 way to live the Lenten season.
1) Read a little Scripture (maybe choose one of the Gospels)
2) Read a spiritual book for ten minutes
3) Spend ten extra minutes in silence
4) Pray the rosary
5) Pray the Way of the Cross
6) Stop by a church for five minutes on your way to/from work (if possible)
7) Go to daily Mass or try to 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 (consider giving to Haiti if you haven’t done so)
9) Give up desserts
10) Give up unhealthy snacks
11) Give up alcohol
12) Give up or cut down on coffee or tea
13) Give up bread
14) Wake up earlier than usual (get up as soon as the alarm goes off)
15) Go to bed earlier than usual
16) Give up or spend less time on the Internet, especially facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites
17) Give up or cut down on Television
18) Don’t listen to the radio while you drive; use the silent time for prayer
19) Cut down on the number of times a day you check email
20) Fast on Fridays if your health allows for it (one meal or just bread and water)
21) Call a friend or family member each day—or a few times during the week— to see how they’re doing
22) Volunteer your time at a local 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
I pray that you have a blessed and holy Lenten season!