What Can I Do For Lent?
I can hardly believe that we are now already in Lent, but with Easter fast approaching, we need to draw our spiritual battle lines now, otherwise we may find we have arrived at Easter and have made no spiritual progress. The reality is, although this is not said as often as it should be, we are engaged in a spiritual battle for our souls and so we need to take up spiritual weapons. The Collect for Ash Wednesday made this clear: “Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint.” So the Church recommends we take up with even greater vigour than usual the spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent. Do you have your plan of action ready? If not, here are a few suggestions:
- Try to go to a daily Mass at least once a week.
- Make the Stations of the Cross each Friday. (There is a 6pm Mass followed by the Stations at 6.30pm every Friday in Lent).
- Try to do some spiritual reading each day; either the Bible or some other spiritual book or the life of a saint. There is a lot of good material on the CTS rack at the back of the church
- Choose one of your bad habits and try with renewed vigour and God’s help to overcome it. But don’t expect instant success. The spiritual life is the work of a lifetime.
- Recite an extra Rosary each day, or say the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
- Go out of your way to perform a kind deed for someone each day.
- Cut back on the computer, especially things like Facebook.
- Give up something you enjoy and donate the money saved to your favourite charity.
Of course there are many other things one can do, but it’s a good idea to have a plan. Confession or Penance is always good for our spiritual progress and all Catholics are bound to confess their sins at least once a year. All of us have something to confess whether it be impatience, anger, a lack of charity, distractions while praying, neglecting our religious duties, not attending Sunday Mass and so on. It is sometimes difficult to remember all our sins exactly, so an examination of conscience is available at the back of the church should you need some help. Remember, JESUS is the “Doctor” of our Souls, and sometimes the sacrament of Penance is just what the Doctor ordered! I hope you all have a good Lent. Let us pray for each other.