Lent. What should I do?
Scripture (Mt. 6:5ff) encourages us to three special practices in this time of penance: Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Here are some ideas that may help your Lent.
- Start again the practice of morning prayer. (Three minutes each day before noon, telling God "thank you for ______", asking for Gods help for any special person or need you may have personally).
- Parents, do you bless your children before they go to bed, or off to school? Say a simple prayer with them and then trace the Sign of the Cross on their forehead.
- Grace before meals, of course; parents lead one night, children the next.
- Let your teens know you are praying for them. "I will pray for that test", or "It's going to be okay . . . I asked God to watch over you." You'll know what to say.
- Are you going to go to confession this Lent? That's a prayer you know, a very profound one. We stand weak and vulnerable before God. This so touches Gods heart.
For now, just remember that we learn to pray . . . by praying. Your efforts don't have to be profound or eloquent, only sincere. Remember when your child would bring you the simplest words scrawled on a piece of card? Remember how that touched you? Let that be a sign to you. Let your simple prayer be a sign to God.
We think of this as "going without", something we normally consume or enjoy doing for the sake of something "greater" than our own enjoyment. The common thought here is usually about chocolate or coffee or desserts. But there are other fasts perhaps more pleasing to God. How about:
- Giving up talking negatively about others; especially in their absence. (Just being silent in these conversations can do a lot to send a gentle message, a silent witness to people.)
- Going without your usual TV watching in order to be with family, or to read something inspiring, or to just sit and talk to God.
- Letting yourself feel hungry and then skipping a meal. Let your "emptiness" be a prayer for the half of humanity thats twice as hungry as you.
- In general, you and the Holy Spirit can figure out what to "go without". But, remember . . . fasting is meant to free us to do something "for" someone.
- As you look at the world (locally or globally), what issue do you feel is most in need of monies to advance its cause?
- Google: social problems. How to contribute. Pick one that touches you.
- Go without buying something (fasting). Use the money saved to send to a lunch program (St. Joseph's House of Hospitality, etc.)
- Let your leisure time become a gift to someone. Perhaps a phone call, time spent with the elderly, time spent listening to someone who needs to talk, etc.
- Write your elected officials about a crying social need, and ask that they get back to you about what can be done.
- The City of Rochester is listed as number 1 in extreme poverty for children. Educate yourself about the ongoing efforts to help remedy this situation.
These are just one person's ramblings about the three fold Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. You and the Lord will find something in each of these to call you forth to action.
But, remember. Jesus tells us to do these things in secret; not for personal approval or praise. In the end it's all about love.
Bless your Lenten journey.
To assist us with planning for the One by One Events, (food, etc.) we ask that you to register in one of the following ways:
Not sure if you can come to all three events at this time no problem! You can register for one event at a time and come back to register for the other events, or you can register for all events at once.
ONE by ONE lineup:
Saturday, March 7, 5:15 pm. "Let's Talk"
- Food and welcome.
- "I Need God in My Life. My Catholic Faith Helped Me Find Him" Talk. Witness talk by a parishioner about how they found their place in the Catholic Church.
- Conversation at tables about peoples' own stories. (Personal sharing only as people feel comfortable - - - no forced, uncomfortable admissions).
- Anonymous Question Box. Fr.'s John and Tim will do their best to answer all questions and address burning issues.
- Invitation to next event.
Saturday, March 21, 6:15 pm. "Let's Pray"
- Pot Luck Supper (bring a dish to pass) and welcome.
- Move to church for an informal conversation and walk through of the Catholic Mass.
- Brief description of upcoming Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
- Invitation to join us for Holy Week and Easter Sunday.