“What are you doing for Lent?” is a common question among Catholics. Since Ash Wednesday is so, like yesterday, maybe we should be praying and growing into a deeper relationship with Christ as we prepare for Easter.
Instead of reverting back to the grade-school “I’m going to give up soda for Lent”? Here are some ideas we have of ways to sacrifice, strengthen your relationship with Christ and foster a better prayer life.
1) Pray more – take your prayer more seriously. Set aside the prayer before school and prayer before class and pray. Go to Midday prayer in the Chapel everyday and pray. Really PRAY.
2) Go to Adoration weekly – on Mondays our chapels are set aside specifically for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Just find the time, even for 10 minutes at a time, to go and spend the time with Jesus in this way.
3) Create a good habit – instead of giving something up, try inserting something good into your life this Lent. Are you a pessimist? Try to be more positive. Do you criticize your teachers, parents, siblings, friends a lot? Make an effort to be more encouraging.
4) Pray the Rosary daily – Praying the Rosary daily is a wonderful way to meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life and to learn more about Mary and how to emulate her piety, humble ways, trust, prayerful life, patience and charity.
5) Go to daily Mass – ok, we know that going to Mass daily is a big sacrifice but it can certainly be done and it is a beautiful way to show God how much you love Him. One of schools has Mass at 7:20 each day. Go first thing in the morning before you start your day.
6) Volunteer – make time to volunteer once a week or at least a few times during Lent. Join Emmaus, CROSS, go to St. Martin's, the INN or just offer somebody help and give of your time.
7) Fast – besides fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, choose one or two days a week to fast and choose a method that works for you (fasting till noon every day or on certain days, fasting from certain things like sweets). You will constantly be reminded in a physical way to pray.
9) Give up something that you like – truly give up something that you really like, for example a certain drink/food, coffee, television, a website that you waste lots of time on (not this one though!), etc.
10) Go to Confession – the sacrament of Confession gives us so much grace to help avoid temptation and sin and live the lives that Christ wants us to live. Make it a priority to go to Confession 3 times during Lent.
11) Forgive – is there a person in your life you have been having trouble forgiving? Don’t hold that resentment any longer. Pray about it and ask God to help you forgive. You’ll be amazed at the burden that will be lifted from you.