“Does a particular line speak to me?” If it does, then spend some time praying about that.
When considering your additional prayer repertoire for the season of Lent, why not consider praying a litany each day. It could be the same litany day after day, or you could pick a new one each day. When you pray the litany, pay attention to the words, and ask yourself: “Does a particular line speak to me?” If it does, then spend some time praying about that.
If you run out of litanies, there are even prayer books containing many from our Catholic tradition. Not only can you pray the text of the litanies, but you can also get a melody in your mind and heart. In your litany search, might I suggest the following litanies for your consideration:
The Litany of Trust
Fear and doubt consume our human psyche and can affect our relationship with God, the Church, and others. Sister Faustina Maria Pia of the Sisters of Life penned the Litany of Trust. Modeled on the Litany of Humility, the beginning invocations ask Jesus to deliver us. The second movement of the litany allows us to pray, Jesus I trust in you. Following our 40 days of Lent and the celebration of Easter comes the feast of Divine Mercy, and a basic component of the Divine Mercy message was trust. This Lent, deepen your trust in God’s love for you, his guidance, and mercy.
The Litany of Humility
Belgian Cardinal Merry de Val (1865-1930) penned this beautiful litany, in which we ask Jesus to deliver us from pride, and then make a statement of humility by asking Jesus to grant us the grace to desire it. The deepest fault of the human condition is pride. In fact, some say it was the original sin, because Adam and Eve thought they knew better than God’s commands. As we try to conquer our sinful pride, we can look to the example of Jesus, bruised, beaten, and crucified as an icon of humility.
The Litany of the Saints
The Litany of the Saints has been a part of our Catholic tradition for centuries. If we think about the lives of the saints through the lens of Lent, we realize that they all lived through many seasons of Lent, so we can ask them to pray for us during the season, that we might strive for holiness. Many of the saints lived austerely, they prayed much, and took on penance in their daily life. Their way of life inspires us in our own Lenten practices. This Lent rely on their prayers. A few contemporary versions of the Litany of Saints include renditions by Matt Maher and Mickey Needleman.
The Litany of St. Joseph
During the season of Lent falls the feast of St. Joseph on March 19, patron of the Universal Church and a holy death. As some people this Lent use Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble’s Memento Mori Lenten devotional, a litany prayer to St. Joseph might be a good companion in helping us to remember death, and asking him to remember us at the hour of our death. Go to Joseph this Lent, and prepare for his feast day by asking his prayers.
The Litany of Our Lady of Good Help
The only approved Marian apparition in the United States occurred in Champion, Wisconsin. The chapel, now shrine, associated with the apparitions bears the name Our Lady of Good Help.
I wrote a litany seeking her intercession, and Catholic musician Anna Nuzzo graciously wrote an abridged sung version. In the first part of the Litany, we ask Mary to help us at different moments in our life, and in the second we ask her to help certain individuals in the situations they face. It’s an excellent way for us to pray this Lent not only for ourselves but for others with Our Lady.