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40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
CrossroadsInitiative.com ^ | not given | Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio,

Posted on 02/16/2010 4:30:49 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! 

 

  1. Take 30 minutes 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.  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.
  9. Make a decision to read at least some Scripture every day. Starting with Today's!
  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 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. Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary often during Lent, especially on Tuesday, 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.
  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. View 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; Prayer
KEYWORDS: 1tim47; catholic; catholiclist; lent
Similar but different from the other list just posted.

I regret that there are hot links to sell his stuff in it -- something I don't like to do.

1 posted on 02/16/2010 4:30:49 PM PST by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; Lady In Blue; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...

Lenten ideas ping!


2 posted on 02/16/2010 4:32:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Feel free to add your own ideas.


3 posted on 02/16/2010 4:32:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
4 posted on 02/16/2010 4:36:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I gave up sex with my spouse a few years ago at her insistence. Does that count?


5 posted on 02/16/2010 4:38:27 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: Salvation

I’ll skip 3-16 and 19, but both of the lists that were posted are excellent. I especially like that you emphasized the point about fasting not being a spiritual workout. It is a process of giving primacy to Christ.


6 posted on 02/16/2010 4:42:48 PM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Salvation

Ok, I know but this is a cute kid story.
We are not Catholic (however I do think the idea of Lent is a valuable idea) anyway my great-niece who is four announced she is giving gum up for Lent.
We reminder her we were not Catholic but she informed us her ‘bestest friend’ in preschool is.
Then we reminder her she is not allowed to chew gum.
Her response is so typical of kids, “yea well if I did I’d give it up”.


7 posted on 02/16/2010 4:44:32 PM PST by svcw (If you are going to quote the Bible know what you are quoting.)
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To: Salvation
• Do chores without complaining

That truly would be a miracle.

8 posted on 02/16/2010 4:46:12 PM PST by svcw (If you are going to quote the Bible know what you are quoting.)
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To: svcw
Then we reminder her she is not allowed to chew gum. Her response is so typical of kids, “yea well if I did I’d give it up”.

Sounds like she is immediately eligible for being an honorary Bishop and with that sort of understanding of how religion works...being the Pope can't be far behind!

9 posted on 02/16/2010 4:52:04 PM PST by RVN Airplane Driver ("To be born into freedom is an accident; to die in freedom is an obligation..)
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To: Salvation

Save


10 posted on 02/16/2010 4:54:51 PM PST by Rumplemeyer
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To: Salvation

“Get the most out of Lent” seems like an oxymoronic phrase.


11 posted on 02/16/2010 4:55:31 PM PST by Persevero
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To: svcw

LOL! From the mouth of babes!


12 posted on 02/16/2010 4:56:41 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: RVN Airplane Driver
I gave up sex with my spouse a few years ago at her insistence. Does that count?

You too???? I think we are eligible for sainthood....

13 posted on 02/16/2010 5:05:42 PM PST by MrPiper
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To: MrPiper; RVN Airplane Driver

I think you are joshing each other. Am I right? LOL!


14 posted on 02/16/2010 5:13:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
41. Visit this site frequently, as the owners have created the site for Mary and her Son, Jesus, and wish to encourage everyone online to recite the rosary daily and/or have it on in the background so their travels around the Web will be guided by Our Mother. The Gregorian Chant is superb, and there's links to Lourdes Live (yep, in France), Online Adoration, Virtual Vatican (way cool!), and even a rosary tune by Elvis!
15 posted on 02/16/2010 5:45:33 PM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy

Great suggestion!


16 posted on 02/16/2010 5:48:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

By the way, Salvation, these are all outstanding ideas.


17 posted on 02/16/2010 5:49:49 PM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: Salvation

Thanks!


18 posted on 02/16/2010 6:15:49 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!=^..^==^..^==^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: Salvation
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.

I suspect the blessing will seem to be a curse.

19 posted on 02/16/2010 6:26:21 PM PST by the_daug
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To: the_daug

Or the blessings by be returned 30, 60 or 100 fold.

We really don’t know. This was a difficult thing for me to do at one time, but I did it. And I can talk pleasantly with that person now.


20 posted on 02/16/2010 6:28:23 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I was talking about the person I’m praying for God to bless.


21 posted on 02/16/2010 6:33:23 PM PST by the_daug
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To: the_daug

Often times the person who is being prayed for does feel that those prayers are a curse.

May he/she be blessed through your prayers.


22 posted on 02/16/2010 7:00:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: the_daug; FateAmenableToChange; Biggirl; svcw; mlizzy; Rumplemeyer; Persevero; ...
Don't Waste Lent by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Don’t Waste Lent

February 16th, 2010 by Fr. Thomas Euteneuer

Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday — hard to believe that Lent is here already! Join with me, friends, in making a firm intention not to waste the phenomenally-rich season of grace that is Lent. How will we derive maximum benefit out of this season of preparation? Let me count the ways:

First, begin with the end in mind ; that is, remember for what it is that we prepare! The historical events of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our blessed Lord Jesus were anticipated by the People of Israel wandering forty years in the desert and by Jesus’ own forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert. We can surely spend a little time in a "desert" of self-renunciation, fasting and prayer to prepare our souls to enter into the Paschal Mystery, the greatest of all gifts that touch our lives. Acts of self-abnegation are not ends in themselves; they are means to the end of becoming more pure in our relationship with God and man.

Second, stay simple ; that is, don’t load yourself down with too many spiritual exercises or intentions that may discourage you if you run too fast out into the desert. While I am all for heroism in religious practices, I am also realistic about the power of the world, the flesh and the devil to undermine our best efforts. This is why the Church gives us very minimal and, quite frankly, rather easy "penitential" practices in Lent: required fasting is only on two days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; guaranteed, these won’t kill anyone!), abstinence from meat is only on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent (a modest inconvenience for any active person) and our "Easter duty" (Communion at Eastertime and sacramental confession as needed before that). Despite its minimal rigor, though, the Church makes sure that the penitential dimension of this season remains intact. Each person can invest himself in penitential practices beyond this, but make sure you are diligent about the very basics that the Church requires, for obedience is the first of the virtues in religion.

Finally, go for high spiritual impact . That is, identify and practice faithfully just one really magnificent goal for your personal conversion this Lent. I say conversion and not "personal improvement" lest anyone interpret the call to spiritual discipline as a chance to lose weight or quit smoking! What Lent demands of us is to look into our vicious, slothful and petty nature and challenge it with the full prophetic force of the Gospel. A well-intentioned person who stacks up a dozen goals for personal change but accomplishes few or none of them is not a better person at the end of Lent. He is more scattered, less disciplined and under a the illusion of false piety thinking that he is doing something holy by multiplying activities without transforming his heart. In contrast, the one who targets his habit of petty backbiting with a shock-and-awe campaign of generosity toward those he finds disagreeable is the one who receives a blessing from the Lord because he acts like John the Baptist who Jesus said "took the Kingdom by storm." Any mature person will know that a single, firm and effective intention to convert one’s heart is worth more than a thousand acts of superficial piety.

Focus on the goal, remain simple and obedient, go for true conversion of heart — those who resolve to walk through Lent with these intentions will reap the benefit of conformity to Christ when we finally arrive at the High Holy Days of our blessed Faith.

Blessings for the journey and be assured of my prayers!

 
Fr. Tom Euteneuer is president of Human Life International.

23 posted on 02/16/2010 7:17:03 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: MrPiper

***I gave up sex with my spouse a few years ago at her insistence. Does that count?
You too???? I think we are eligible for sainthood....***

I DIDN’T give up sex for anything! It gave me up!:-(


24 posted on 02/16/2010 7:26:25 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Don't touch my ..Shoulder, Pork and Ham!)
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To: svcw

How adorable! I did give up bubblegum for Lent one time and it was hard. I did get a big box though in my Easter basket, so that was good. :o)


25 posted on 02/16/2010 8:20:58 PM PST by boatbums (A man is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot)
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To: svcw

Funny story.


26 posted on 02/17/2010 1:18:14 PM PST by Bigg Red (Palin/Hunter 2012 -- Bolton their Secretary of State)
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To: Salvation

“May he/she be blessed through your prayers.”

A friend and I work near a loud, annoying, narcissistic and foul-mouthed man. It’s impossible to tune him out.

He loves to gamble. We are praying for him - that he breaks the bank at the casino and never has to come in to work again!


27 posted on 02/17/2010 2:46:27 PM PST by mrs. a (It's a short life but a merry one...)
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