Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
crossroads.com ^ | 2007 | Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio

Posted on 02/16/2007 9:14:36 PM PST by Salvation

40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!

By: Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Catholic theologian and speaker

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of Lenten ideas, activities and devotions.  But it’s a start!  Many of the Lenten resources mention here are available on our website at www.dritaly.com or can be found by visiting our links page.

  1. Online Lenten ResourcesTake 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this list, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions.  Be careful.  If you try to do too much, you may not succeed in anything.  If you need to get up early or stay up late to get the 30 minutes of quiet, do it.  Turn off your phone and computer.  Don’t put it off and don’t allow interruptions.
  2. Get up earlier than anyone else in your house and spend your first 15 minutes of the day thanking God for the gift of life and offering your day to Him.
  3. Get to daily Mass.
  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.
  6. Recover the Catholic tradition of making frequent visits to the Blessed sacrament throughout the week, even if it is only for 5 minutes.
  7. Get to confession at least once during Lent after making a good examination of conscience.  If you are not sure why confession is important, get my CD “Who Needs Confession.
  8. In addition to the penance assigned by the priest, fulfill the conditions necessary for a plenary indulgence.  You can learn about plenary indulgences from the official Handbook of Indulgences, Catholic Book Publishing Company (costs only about $10).
  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 Catholic Missal or go online to get a list of the readings used each day in Mass, 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 www.universalis.com.  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 www.crossroadsintiative.com
  13. Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday either with a group or by yourself.  If you have kids, bring them.
  14. Online Catholic Resources for LentPray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Friday and Wednesday.  The glorious mysteries are especially appropriate on Sundays.  Joyful and Luminous mysteries are great on other days.
  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.”
  18. Pray each day for the intentions and health of the Holy Father.
  19. Pray each day for your bishop and all the bishops of the Catholic Church.
  20. Pray for your priests and deacons and for all priests and deacons.
  21. Pray for the millions of Christians suffering under persecution in various Muslim and Communist countries around the world such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Viet Nam, and North Korea.
  22. Pray for Christian unity, that there would be one flock and one shepherd.
  23. Pray for the evangelization of all those who have not yet heard and accepted the Good News about Jesus.
  24. Pray for your enemies.  In fact, think of the person who has most hurt you or who most annoys you and spend several minutes each day thanking God for that person and asking God to bless him or her.
  25. Pray for an end to abortion on demand in the United States.  Pray for pregnant women contemplating abortion.
  26. Pray for a just peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Holy Land and elsewhere.  Pray for our troops and for others in harm’s way.
  27. Pray for an end to capital punishment.  Pray for those on death row, and for the families of murder victims.
  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 (if you can’t find these for rent at the local video store, they are all available from Ignatius Press)
  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.
  36. Catholic Online Resources, The Passion of the ChristView Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ during Lent on VHS or DVD, if you feel you can handle the violence.  Get a copy of The Guide to the Passion to help you get the most out of the movie.
  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.
  40. When Easter comes, don’t drop the new practice you’ve begun during Lent!  Make a permanent feature of a deeper Christian life!


TOPICS: Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; lent
I'm not necessarily condoning the sale of articles in this list. It does have some good ideas, however. Edit at your own pleasure.
1 posted on 02/16/2007 9:14:39 PM PST by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

2 posted on 02/16/2007 9:15:56 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...


3 posted on 02/16/2007 9:20:53 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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

Does anyone have suggestions about favorite books on saint's lives? I read a lot of biographies - I like them.

4 posted on 02/16/2007 9:31:15 PM PST by BlackVeil
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BlackVeil

I would suggest a couple:

Long -- The Diary of St. Faustina

Shorter but out of print -- get a used one on a website
A Man for Others by Patricia Treece about St. Maxmillian Kolbe.


5 posted on 02/16/2007 9:36:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!

Hold it upside down and shake? ;-)

6 posted on 02/16/2007 9:38:03 PM PST by Reaganesque
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

I'm not RC, but most of the things on that list could be enriching for anyone.


7 posted on 02/17/2007 4:31:28 AM PST by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Daily Mass attendance and at Stations on Fridays and any Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament along with Fasting should be right at the top of any Roman Catholic's list for Great Lent. For us Orthodox, there is the full schedule of services and devotions throughout the weekdays of Great Lent. Participating in these devotions, along with Fasting, teaches us our Faith, transforms us and prepares us for the great day of our salvation on Pascha.


8 posted on 02/17/2007 5:38:14 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Excellent. Thank you.


9 posted on 02/17/2007 6:39:27 AM PST by Bigg Red (You are either with us or with the terrorists.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Thanks for the pings. We'll be using them tomorrow morning in our Confirmation II CCD class. Good stuff.


10 posted on 02/17/2007 7:24:24 AM PST by DaGman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BlackVeil
I very much like the biography St. Teresa of Avila by Marcelle Auclair and Thomas of Celano's Saint Francis of Assisi. I also find reading Dante's Divine Comedy (the whole work, not just Hell) to be useful, especially the edition with Dorothy Sayer's translation and commentary, which used to be the standard Penguin edition.
11 posted on 02/17/2007 8:18:11 AM PST by The King of Elflands Daughter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Catholic/Lent bump.


12 posted on 02/17/2007 1:29:17 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Larry Lucido

Absolutely!


13 posted on 02/17/2007 1:42:06 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Kolokotronis

An hour in Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

A daily Rosary

Daily Liturgy of the Hours

Novena of Divine Mercy from Good Friday through Mercy Sunday

Just some additional thoughts for me.


14 posted on 02/17/2007 1:45:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: The King of Elflands Daughter

Those sound like excellent recommendations. I was hoping someone else would recommend books, so that I could choose one.


15 posted on 02/17/2007 1:48:41 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DaGman; Bigg Red

Thanks for coming on board!


16 posted on 02/17/2007 1:53:20 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: BlackVeil

Chesterton does a marvelous job on St. Francis of Assisi and on St. Thomas Aquinas. I have read both and they are better than some tomes 5 times their length. He manages to capture the essence of these holy men.

F


17 posted on 02/17/2007 7:27:30 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

I am a big fan of "Lectio Divina" or reading the Sacred Scriptures nightly. I am using the Navarre Commentary on the Gospel of St. John this year and reading and meditating on a few pages each night. It is an amazing way to keep Lent and really brings you into the journey of Christ to Calvary and then to the Resurrection.

F


18 posted on 02/17/2007 7:32:25 PM PST by Frank Sheed ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." --G.K. Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Frank Sheed
Additional books recommended for Lenten readings on this thread. (I think you have your hands full with the Gospels and commentaries from Navarre.) This is for other posters.

For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

19 posted on 02/17/2007 8:53:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Faith-sharing bump.


20 posted on 02/18/2007 8:04:39 PM PST by Ciexyz (Amazing Grace the film, in theaters Feb 23rd, about abolishing slave trade in Britain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

I esp. like the suggestion to pray for someone who has hurt you in the past, raising that person up to God and asking Him to bless that person. Such a prayer would surely bring healing to your own soul.


21 posted on 02/18/2007 8:10:09 PM PST by Ciexyz (Amazing Grace the film, in theaters Feb 23rd, about abolishing slave trade in Britain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: BlackVeil; Salvation

22 posted on 02/18/2007 8:29:15 PM PST by Maeve (The Church is not a mythical association of individuals opining on Truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Salvation; Kolokotronis
I personally will be rereading "The Way of the Pilgrim and the Pilgirm Continues His Way"

It is one of the most important books I ever read.

23 posted on 02/18/2007 8:35:02 PM PST by Maeve (The Church is not a mythical association of individuals opining on Truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

** pray for someone who has hurt you in the past, **

Looks like a good idea to me.


24 posted on 02/18/2007 8:37:14 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

Here's wishing everyone a blessed week!


25 posted on 02/18/2007 8:42:57 PM PST by Ciexyz (Amazing Grace the film, in theaters Feb 23rd, about abolishing slave trade in Britain.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

very good


26 posted on 02/21/2007 9:17:58 AM PST by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson