Friday, March 06, 2009

"40 Ways to Get the Most out of Lent"

Tonight at SAA Church: Station of the Cross, 7 pm, with Eucharistic Adoration to follow. Please join us!!
The following is a partial list of “40 Ways to Get the Most out of Lent” which is from “The Crossroads Initiative”. The first suggestion is probably the most important – pray about which of the activities is prudent and possible for you, depending on your situation in life. In other words, we don’t try to do them all, but we do try to do at least some of the activities. To view the full list, please click on today’s title.

1. Take (time) to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this activities list, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions. Be careful. If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything...

4. If you can’t do Mass daily, go to Mass on Fridays in addition to Sunday and thank Him for laying his life down for you. Maybe you can go another time or two as well.

5. Spend at least 30 minutes in Eucharistic adoration at least one time during the week.

7. Get to confession at least once during Lent after making a good examination of conscience…

9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day…

10. Even if you can’t get to daily Mass, get a Daily Roman Missal or go visit the Crossroads Homepage for a link to the Daily Mass readings, and read these readings daily. During special seasons such as Lent, the Mass readings are thematically coordinated and make for a fantastic Bible study!

11. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. You can buy a one volume edition or a full four volume edition. Or you can get it day by day online for free at Or you can subscribe to a monthly publication called the Magnificat that provides a few things from the liturgy of the hours together with the Mass readings of the day. The Magnificat is a great way to start learning the Liturgy of the Hours.

12. Get to know the Fathers of the Church and read selections from them along with Scripture. Short selections from the Fathers writing on Lenten themes can be downloaded for free from the Lenten Library of our website at

13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday either with a group or by yourself. If you have kids, bring them.

15. Purchase the Scriptural Rosary, which supplies you with a scripture verse to recite between each Hail Mary. This makes it easier to meditate on the mysteries. Another resource to deepen your understanding of the Rosary is my CD set “How Mary and the Rosary can Change Your Life.”

16. If you’ve never done a family rosary, begin doing it. If starting with once a week, try Friday or Sunday. If it’s tough to start with a full five decades, try starting with one. Use the Scriptural Rosary and have a different person read each of the Scriptures between the Hail Marys. This gets everyone more involved.

17. Make it a habit to stop at least five times a day, raise your heart and mind to God, and say a short prayer such as “Jesus, I love you,” or “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “Lord, I offer it up for you.”

28. Find a form of fasting that is appropriate for you, given your age, state of health, and state of life. Some fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some fast from sweets or alcohol throughout Lent. Some fast on one or more days per week from breakfast all the way to dinner, spending lunch hour in prayer or at noon Mass. Some cut out all snacks between meals. The money saved from not buying various things should be given to an apostolate or ministry serving the physically or spiritually poor.

29. Prayer is like breathing – you have to do it continually. But sometimes you need to pause and take a very deep breath. That’s what a retreat is. Plan a retreat this Lent. It could be simply a half day, out in nature, or in a Church. Or it could be a full day. Or an overnight. You can certainly read lots of things during your retreat or listen to lots of talks. But try sticking to Scripture, the liturgy, and quiet as much as you can. During or at the end of the retreat, write down what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying.

30. Find a written biography of a Saint that particularly appeals to you, and read it during Lent.

31. Instead of secular videos for weekend entertainment, try some videos that will enrich your spiritual life. Suggestions: Jesus of Nazareth, by Franco Zeffirelli, The Scarlet and the Black, the Assisi Underground.

32. While driving, turn off the secular radio for awhile and use commute time to listen to some teaching on audiocassette or CD. Some great resources can be purchased through this site or from other Catholic apostolates and publishers that you can find on our links page.

33. Find a local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center, and volunteer some time there throughout Lent. Serve the people there with the understanding that in so doing, you are serving Jesus. Try to see Jesus in each person there.

34. Visit someone at a nursing home or in the hospital or sick at home. Again, love Jesus in and through the suffering person.

35. Is there a widow or divorced person living in your neighborhood? If so, invite that person to your home for dinner, coffee, etc.

37. Invite folks to view The Passion of the Christ with you, especially people whose faith is rather nominal, or who do not practice their faith, or who do not profess Christian faith at all. Give them a copy of The Guide to the Passion.

38. Spend some focused time with your spouse, strengthening your marriage. Start praying together, or make praying together a more frequent occurrence.

39. Spend some focused time together with each of your children. Listen. Pray. Maybe even have fun.


At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gov. O’Malley’s initiative to overturn the death penalty in Maryland failed. He said that he was committed to ending the death penalty because it is inconsistent with a most basic right to life. He said that we don’t have a right to take a life. Gov. O’Malley is Catholic. Gov. O’Malley is pro-choice. Just thought it was worth pointing out.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger fran said...

And on Monday, according to today's WashPost, Pres Obama is expected to announce his decision to lift restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Heaven help us.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what I don't understand- why not put the federal dollars in the area that has produced the most results- adult stem cell research? Amazing thing have happened there. For those who want to push morality aside on this issue- okay, look to the science.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

My second-grader resisted going to Stations this past Friday. She said she'd start crying at Station 12.

And she did! She wailed even through the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the Our Father.

If nothing else she was paying attention to what was going on, up until Station 12.


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