So the original meaning of the word Lent is actually “spring!” since it is during the time of year that we get more sunshine. This is a season of penance so that we can make sacrifices like Jesus did for us, and we can come to know Him better by sharing in that.
There are three spiritual disciplines during Lent to help us detach from the world and focus on God: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I wanted to give some suggestions for each penitential category you might want to try this Lent. So I asked around on social media what other people were thinking of doing this year. Here are my favorites:
- Light a candle before dinner
- Commit to reading the devotional emails from Blessed is She
- Text someone each day asking if they have any prayer requests
- Stop by a Church or Chapel each day for five minutes on your way to or home from work or class
- Fill up one journal page with stream of consciousness
- Join a Bible study
- While brushing your teeth say 5 Hail Mary’s (you’re accomplishing a decade of the Rosary every day doing that!)
- Do an examination of conscience each day
- Go on a retreat during the Lenten season (you’ll see me in Texas at this one)
- Read the Bible each day
- Commit to prayer with your spouse each day
- Go to adoration once a week
- Go to Mass twice a week
- Read all four Gospels
- Do a daily Rosary
- Blessed is She Lent Journal (I have mine and it is beautiful)
- Renew consecration to Mary (That’s the chain you see some Catholics have on their wrist or ankle)
- Wear scapular each day
- Getting up early to pray (this is totally also fasting)
- Weekly confession
- Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet at the hour of mercy, 3pm
- Wear a cross, crucifix, or miraculous medal each day
- Literally go on a walk with Jesus each day
- One decade each weekday (a whole rosary a week!)
- Learn about a different saint each day
- Stations of the cross on Fridays (these are the ones I have)
- Make a capsule wardrobe and wear the same outfits each week to focus on simplicity
- Give up makeup, or only wear mascara
- Check your phone only 3 times a day, ten minutes each
- You could give up salt and pepper shakers
- Instead of giving up coffee, give up cream and sugar
- Give up music, or only listen to Classical or Christian music
- Use only one plate, bowl, and cup all of Lent (here’s the mug I will be drinking out of)
- Only buy necessities
- Wear glasses instead of contacts
- Do hot/cold/hot/cold at the end of your shower
- Ending screen time at 9pm
- Not checking social media until you have prayed
- Drinking only water one day a week
- Sleeping on the floor
Other fasting ideas
- Facebook entirely
- Social media entirely
- Phone games and other unnecessary apps
- Sugar and honey
- Your beloved pillow
- Looking in mirrors
- Yelling at your kids
- The snooze button
- Going out to eat
- Coffee shops
- Make a swear jar or a burp jar and donate the funds to a charity
- Make cards and visit a nursing home or homeless shelter
- Every time you buy a coffee, buy a coffee for the next person in line
- Leave a post-it note with a kind thought in every bathroom you visit
- Write a handwritten letters to family members and other loved ones (or text or call)
- Call your mom more often
- Call your grandma more often
- All spare change goes to charity
- Fill 40 boxes in 40 days
These are my favorite blog posts with more Lent ideas!
What am I doing for Lent you ask? Oh a whole combination of things.
We will have something similar to an Advent wreath with a crown of thorns and a candle at the dinner table.
Write a letter, text, or call a loved one each day.
This one may sound silly but with a baby and being a stay at home mom, it’s hard to feel motivated to get out of your pajamas. So I am committing to waking up to an alarm (unless the baby was up all night) and getting dressed and ready for the day. Why am I doing this for Lent? Well, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s also reminding me to be ready and open to the Lord each morning.
I am committing to a lot of Blessed is She things this year! I am reading their devotional emails (which include the Mass readings!) I am using their Lent journal. I am doing their Stations of the Cross cards on Fridays. I am drinking out of only this one mug all of Lent. Then the part I am most excited for?? Zelie and I am going on their Beloved Retreat in Texas!
I am checking my phone only three times a day, ten minutes each (this might get adjusted). I will not be on my phone while nursing and will be reading books! Gasp! Though, I will be using nursing time to check in on my new Facebook group a friend and I started. It is called Young & Wild Catholic Mamas! It has been about a month and we already have over 200 members! What makes it unique besides being full of young Catholic mothers is it’s a discussion based group. Hanna and I post “small” group questions almost every day and we are all having very intentional conversation in hopes to grow closer to God! My passion is women’s ministry, and I have finally found what God wanted me to do in this stage of life at home, yet still caring for women, particularly women in a similar situation as me. Please please pray for this ministry!
Good luck this Lent everybody!
Good luck! You’ll do great! Know that I’m praying for you!