Getting Prepared for Lent
With the beginning of Lent (Ash Wednesday) just over a week away, it is a good idea to get your plan of action ready now, otherwise there is a big danger of going through Lent without doing anything at all. Let us ask ourselves, “What can I do this Lent to get closer to God and to get to know and love Him more? How can I rid myself of spiritual mediocrity?” Today in the world there is great uncertainty, as well as great spiritual and moral confusion.Spiritual renewal has to begin with us. So Lent is the time to engage in spiritual combat to cleanse and purify our souls and seek with renewed vigour to become what God intends us to become.
Our Lord has taught us there are three principle works for Lent: prayer, fasting and mortification. Some things we could to do during Lent to help us in this might include the following:
- Try to attend extra Masses throughout Lent. If this is not possible, spend some time meditating on the readings from the Mass of the Day or reading the Bible.
- Receive the Sacraments more frequently, especially the Sacrament of Penance. A good Confession is a great way to begin Lent.
- Pray the Divine Office. We say Morning Prayer (Lauds) in the church every morning at 9am Monday to Friday before Mass. Come and join us.
- Make a real effort to attend Mass and Stations of the Cross on Fridays in Lent – 6pm Mass followed by Stations at 6.30pm.
- Say the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. This can be done as a family.
- Do some spiritual reading – there is plenty of material in the Repository at the back of the church and in the library. Read the life of a saint.
- Try to avoid complaining or gossiping and reduce the time spent on the internet or watching TV and do something spiritual instead.
- Eat less at meals and avoid snacking in between. This helps us in self-denial.
- Abstain from favourite foods or drinks and give the money saved to charity.
- Visit the sick, the elderly or the housebound.
These are just suggestions, but make your plan today! An excellent prayer to say daily is:
Lord, let there be less of me and more of You. Let me say no to my will and yes to Yours. God, give me the grace to love You more today than yesterday, and more tomorrow than today. Amen.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC