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Here are some ideas to use this Lent.
Watch The Chosen.
Yes, watch a television show, about Jesus.
As a former competitive athlete and former coach, I suggest a warm-up before we really stretch our legs so to speak.
This is not a difficult task. In fact, once you watch about 3 or 4 episodes, you’ll want to binge! And to that I say this – go for it, BINGE JESUS!
Maybe you are already watching it. Maybe you’ve watched each episode more than once already. If that’s you, skip to the next suggestion.
If you have not watched all the episodes of The Chosen, I highly recommend to designating one night a week this Lent to watch.
Commit to a Daily Morning Prayer Routine
Lent has three pillars: Fasting, Prayer and Almsgiving. When you give up a set time of sleep each night to wake up early to pray, you are embracing two of these pillars.
Give 15 minutes to God first thing in the morning.
What time do you normally wake up during the week? This Lent, wake up 15 minutes earlier
Set your alarm and sacrifice 15 minutes of sleep.
Before you even get out of bed, say these words, “Thank you God”. Then . . .
Read the Bible for 15 minutes.
Read a holy book and prayer journal.
Make 15 minutes all about you and God.
Not sure how to start? Give this a quick look: How to Start a Prayer Journal in 3 Easy Steps
You may have already downloaded my 40 Prayer Journal Prompts for Lent. If you haven’t grab those to get you started. If you would like more ideas and prompts, I created this for you!
40 (MORE) Prayer Journal Prompts
Embrace the Sacraments More – Much More
Especially these two: The Eucharist and Reconciliation
Remember that warm-up- watch a TV Show – this is what it was warming up for . . .
Challenge yourself to go to Confession this weekend. Then dare yourself to go again the next weekend. Then dare yourself to go one more time within the same month.
Do you go to Mass on Sundays – in person? Are you still going virtually? Stop going virtually on Sunday. It became a habit for many during Covid . . . it’s time to go back into the building.
Perhaps you go to Mass on Sunday – but could you go during the week too?
Do you go to daily Mass? Could you add some Eucharistic Adoration time? Could you go to Mass earlier and pray the Rosary in Church?
Whatever you currently do – add one or two more things per month or maybe even per week.
Give yourself to God in a way that involves getting out of your house and into His house.
Almsgiving – make it personal
There’s a thing I’ve seen people talk about called “40 bags in 40 days” and it sounds great. I personally fill up bags to donate pretty frequently – but, it’s not personal.
Almsgiving can be putting money in a poor box or writing a check to a school or charity – and those things are good.
But this Lent, I’m challenging you to make it much more personal.
Do you know a widow? Could you invite him or her over for dinner? Could you mail them a card and maybe even a gift?
Do you know a family struggling with Catholic School tuition, and all the fees that go with music lesson, sports and extra-curricular activities? Perhaps you could offer to pay for soccer or the next month of piano lessons. Tell the person that this is how you want to give alms this Lent.
Are you lonely and feeling left out? Ask God to point you in the direction whose heart aches more . . . and pour out love in their direction. Make it weird.
And if you are the one struggling – this may be how God is calling you – give away your pride and allow another Christian to do this act of love for you.
It’s hard. It’s definitely humbling. But maybe you are allowing God into a heart by being the recipient.
Think of a way to give to someone directly. Make eye contact. Stay for a conversation. Tell a joke. Tell them about a time when someone helped you.
Make almsgiving personal this Lent.
Stations of the Cross
According to Catholic.org:
“The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ’s last day on Earth as a man. The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ’s last day. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.“
Praying the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent is a good way to increase prayer time and develop a better appreciate of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice.
Children can participate in the Stations of the Cross as well. Saintly Heart has just started taking pre-orders for a Stations of the Cross kit that can be used at home and is perfect for little hands!