Lent sacrifices can be hard to choose! As we enter into the spirit of this liturgical season, let’s give thought to choosing a discipline that helps us grow in virtue while remembering the “golden rule” of sacrifice: Choose mortifications that don’t mortify others!
Still not sure what to do for Lent this year? Try one of these ideas!
Commit to a traditional prayer or discipline
Add a traditional Lenten practice, like Stations of the Cross, and commit to doing it regularly. Alternatively, you might add prayers like the Rosary, daily Mass, or lectio divina while reading the Bible.
Reach out to build community with your friends
It’s easy to let friendships fall by the wayside when you’re busy. But spending time with friends supports your path to happiness and holiness. So invite a few friends to join in a devotional practice this Lent.
Find a way to make a loved one’s life better
Brainstorm one way you can show love for someone close to you. Maybe you could get up with the kids every morning, call your parents more often, order a simple photo book online to send your grandma, or shovel the neighbor’s sidewalk while you’re doing yours.
Give alms with meaning
Almsgiving is one of the three pillars of Lent, but it doesn’t always get as much attention as the other two, prayer and fasting. You might fast from non-essential spending or stop buying a specific thing you like, and give the money to charity instead.
Take up a new spiritual book
“Take up and read!” St. Augustine said. Spiritual reading is a wonderful way to improve your mind and soul, on your own schedule. Pick out a great spiritual book and make time to read it regularly this Lent.
A medieval Lenten fast
Most Europeans in the Middle Ages went through Lent subsisting on bread, vegetables, salt, beer and wine. Some would refrain from having any meal until 3:00 p.m. The Orthodox Churches still observe similar fasting rules.
If your health allows and your heart is in the right place, undertaking a more rigorous fast like this can build a deep connection to Christian history and be a powerful sacrificial prayer.
Get ideas from a loved one
Nobody understands where we need to improve quite like those who know us best! Talk to the person who knows you best (your wife, your dad, your best friend) and implement one small change based on their feedback.