Skip to comments.What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
Posted on 02/16/2010 4:03:10 PM PST by NYer
It is important to give things up for Lent. Some pastors rightly warn some congregations about the wrong approach to Lent. It isnt a spiritual bodybuilding contest you arent supposed to do astounding things in Lent so you can look in the mirror and flex your spiritual muscles.
But you are supposed to regain some control over your life. As St. Paul says, for some, their god is their stomach. If you’re in that boat with me, let’s cast away that idol.
The public recently learned that Pope John Paul II went to great lengths to practice mortification in order to leave him freer to love God more. Thats what you and I should do, at our own level. If theres something in your life that you cant imagine possibly being able to give up that may be just the attachment that you need to sever.
But always do it by adding something: More prayer, more Mass, more frequent confession, etc.
And so the list!
Ideas for Adults
Fast with one full meal, no snacks one day a week.
Skip meat an extra day (or two) a week .
Give up alcoholic beverages. (Except in social situations; then you get just one!)
Give up coffee (or reduce to one cup a day).
Give up all desserts.
Give up all unnecessary shopping.
Fast from music in the car.
Fast from talk radio.
Begin (or begin again) the daily Rosary.
Meditate for 10 minutes a day (get a Magnificat to follow those).
Choose one extra devotion per week during Lent: Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration or a weekday Mass.
Read a book on the Life of Christ. For example:
Alban Goodiers The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Fulton Sheens The Life of Christ
Frank Sheeds To Know Christ Jesus
Romano Guardinis The Lord
Read the Catechism of the Catholic Churchs 74-page section on prayer. (Section four; less than two pages a day!)
Visit a nursing home with your children.
Forgive someone and patch things up in a visit, or, if necessary, by phone or letter.
Give up gossip, judging or profanity.
Find one act of forgiveness to make every day: A driver who cuts you off, a co-worker who annoys you, a shopper who cuts in line, a store clerk who is rude or a family member who ignores your needs.
Say a kind word to everyone you meet.
Pay a significant compliment (or more!) to each of your children every day.
Offer to watch the children of a new mother one day a week throughout Lent.
Visit an elderly friend or relative.
Save up a significant amount of money for a deserving charity or apostolate.
For Children and Teens
If none of the adult ideas work for you, try:
Do chores without complaining
Draw pictures of Holy Week events.
Restrict your TV, Internet or music time.
Restrict your phone time.
Send a letter or picture to a grandmother, aunt or Godparent.
Make a new friend outside your crowd.
Be a friend to a shy person.
Give up that bad place, person or thing.
Choose a favorite toy, book or piece of clothing and put it away until Easter.
I haven’t given up alcohol lately because I don’t stick with it. Maybe this will be the year ... but I’m not going to make an official resolution.
And a hole in the head.
My husband is a guitarist too ... Mariachi and flamenco, but he doesn’t know any Spanish (speaking of penance).
I he is using classical guitar, then he probably knows where to put his left thumb. I have been trying to retrain myself to get it back halfway under the neck, so I can learn to pick notes and solo, and OMG my left hand is killing me. Been playing to some degree for over 30 years (simple chords and simple songs) but oh the bad habits I have to break. Then I went and did some hand flapping exercises wrong and whew, got both hands in pain.
parsy, who has a few years to re-learn
Der Prinz plays left-handed, because he injured his right hand when he was a child and can’t use a couple of the fingers. It makes buying guitars very expensive!
One does have be careful with the fingers, especially in the winter. And he’s a regular at the Vietnamese nail salon - the owners go to our church. They fix his nails for free and consider it a social call.
Sounds like he is a real guitarist. I doubt I will ever be at my age, but I can at least be better than I am now. Your husband sounds like Django Riendhart.
A couple of other books I might suggest is The Murder Of Jesus by John MacArthur and ThePassion Of Jesus Christ by John Piper.
I’m giving up unnecessary internet usage - so goodbye FR for six weeks...then I’ll probably be back to lurker mode!
You don't have to give up something for Lent. It is considered a pious custom.
You can search for yourself to find the many examples of fasting that are located throughout the Scriptures.
Giving up something is considered a small fast.
And as far as the 40 days of Lent, well our Lord fasted for 40 days before starting His earthly ministry (see Matt 4:2, as an example)
Except for the specifically “Lental” ideas, we should try to do these things every day of our lives!
Try Welches' grape juice or apple juice, chilled in a nice wine glass!
What was the purpose of the fast? Why 21 days?
There are several: Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35. In fact, in Matt. 6:16-18, Jesus even gives instructions on how to fast. Jesus says, "Do not look dismal like the hypocrites, but look clean and refreshed." In Matt. 17-21 and Mark 9:29, Jesus teaches that only prayer and fasting had special power to cure a man possessed by a demon. Jesus teaches about the efficacy of fasting and how fasting, coupled with prayer, is acceptable and pleasing to God. In Acts 13:2-3; 14:23 - the apostles engaged in prayer and fasting in connection with ordaining leaders of the Church. Prayer and fasting have always been the practice of the Church.
And these are only from the NT. Do you want the OT references too?
The purpose of the fast was to start the New Year by seeking God’s direction for our personal lives and for our church. 21 days was chosen because that was the model of Daniel in Daniel 10. Alot of people did a strictly fruits and veggies fast for the whole 21 days.
I take it that doesn't count communion? :->
I gave up eating between meals for lent. With any luck I will also be giving up around 10 pounds before this is over.
Forgiveness. I struggle with it daily for one person. Cigarettes would be easier.
A close friend and I are going to do it together. It is going to be tough but I think it is mostly just breaking bad habits, at least for me.
Best wishes to both of you. As with any behavior you want to change, it’s largely a matter of substitution a positive choice for one that’s not as good.
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