As Lent quickly approaches (February 22!), the topic has come up in our February round of Lay Canossian meetings:
‘What spiritual practices should we take on during the season of Lent?’
Many voices have agreed, it’s not enough to ‘give up’ something, like we did as kids denying ourselves the pleasure of our favorite candy bar. As we grow in our spiritual life, we are called to take to heart the words in 1 Corinthians 13:11:
“When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.”
So then, what is appropriate spiritual practice for a mature Catholic during the weeks of Lent? I will start our discussion here with a few suggestions, and I encourage all of you to add to the discussion below in the comments section.
So let’s get started!
- Set up a regular time of prayer each day, and a place where you will not be distracted by TV, computer, or phone. Set an amount of time for your prayer, and stay faithful.
- Take part in the Friday Stations of the Cross at your parish. Use the time driving to the parish as a time asking God to prepare your heart to meet Him on the way to Calvary.
- Pray the Seven Sorrows of Mary (I will link the Seven Sorrows this week)
- Other Recommendations?
Use the time of Lent to grow closer to Jesus in the Sacraments.
- Spend time before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, meditating on His True Presence.
- Go more often to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, remembering this too is an encounter with Christ.
- Receive Holy Communion more often.
- Other Ideas?
3. Service – how to share your time with those in need.
- visit the sick, feed the hungry, encourage the downhearted. Review the Church’s spiritual and corporal works of mercy and practice one a week.
- call to mind often the many ways that you can daily serve the Lord in your family. Grow daily in your intention to do so.
- is there a ministry you’ve been thinking about getting involved in? look into it this Lent.
One other practice we discussed in a couple of the groups was, to think about a vice – or bad habit – you might have that you would like to change, and put into practice the corresponding virtue.
Here are the seven “deadly” sins (vices) paired with their corresponding “heavenly” virtue. All other vices will fall somewhere under one of these seven. For example, anger (wrath) calls us to practice patience. For more information on these, you can click the links below, or go here for virtues and vice.
AND, lastly, don’t forget about our Lenten Retreat with Rev. Father Jeremy Leatherby! Find out more here!
Remember, all of the above are only suggestions! It is not expected that someone try and do ALL of these (that would be too much!). It is best to take one or two things – perhaps that you know will help you grow spiritually – and focus on them.
Our Foundress, Saint Magdalene would tell you, ‘there is enough penance in living our life well that we don’t have to take on harsh penances‘. Each of us is different, and so our Lenten practice must reflect where we know we need to grow the most.
Now, I’ll turn it over to YOU! What above are you going to try? And/or, what other things do you have planned to make your Lent a meaningful one?
United in Prayer,
Sr Lisa Marie : )